Fabricated bank accounts used to discredit Cardinal

Forged documents and false accusations resulted in a lengthy police investigation of an Indian cardinal.

Police in the Kerala state found after months of investigation that bank accounts presented as evidence against Cardinal George Alencherry, head of the Syro-Malabar Church (one of the three rites of the Indian Catholic Church), had been falsified.

The documents concern a scandal involving the sale of land owned by the Church, in which the cardinal was involved last year.

The investigators claim that Alencherry does not have any bank accounts, as claimed by the prosecution.

The police have not found the source that falsified the documents.

The investigation of Alencherry began in March 2018.

A member of the local church had accused him, two priests and a land-broker of causing significant losses to the church by allowing a piece of land in Kochi to be sold for less than the market price without the prior authorisation of the diocese’s ecclesiastical bodies and financial advisors.

The “reckless” real estate operation which occurred between April 2015 and November 2017 is alleged to have cost the Church 10 million dollars as against the land’s actual market value.

Alencherry also came under the spotlight because 200 local priests organised a street demonstration in which they asked him to clarify the matter.

In June last year, the Vatican relieved Alencherry of his administrative duties.


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