Priests want pope to stop cardinal’s reinstatement

Over 250 priests say they do not want Cardinal George Alencherry to be reinstated as their archbishop.

Alencherry was removed from his administrative responsibilities last year after priests made public allegations that he sold off land and incurred a loss of US$10 million for the archdiocese.

Now a spokesperson for the priests says the Oriental congregation “faked the documents” to reinstate Alencherry without the Pope’s knowledge.

They say there has been no direct official announcement from the Vatican on reinstating the cardinal or suspending the auxiliary bishops.

The only official announcement from the national bishops’ conference referred to Francis asking the Apostolic Administrator to go back to his diocese as his term of office had ended.

“We have no other information,” the vice-president of the national bishops’ conference says.

The 250 priests, from India’s Eastern Rite Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, want Pope Francis to intervene.

“From Pope Francis, who takes a firm stand for truth and justice, we expect a lasting solution for the issues facing the archdiocese,” they said a statement.

The priests say a crisis of faith emerged in the Church when the Oriental Congregation reinstated Alencherry without providing any explanation for Alencherry’s “moral decadence” in relation to the land deal.

The priests claimed that “even ordinary faithful” doubt the morality of reinstating the cardinal.

The Oriental Congregation also suspended Alencherry’s two assistants from their auxiliary bishop posts, without publicly giving any reasons for doing so.

The Oriental Congregation has asked that the next synod of the local Church decide on their future roles.

The priests are condemning the lack of explanation.

Church sources said the suspension punishes the two bishops for being supportive of the priests, rather than of the cardinal.




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