State government clears Indian cardinal on contested real estate deals

A cardinal who leads Indian’s Syro-Malabar Church has been cleared by his state government of charges of wrongdoing related to real estate deals estimated to have resulted in losses of around $10 million.

The financial controversy led to protests from some of his own clergy and laity, and his temporary loss of administrative authority by Vatican edict in 2018.

Officials of the Kerala state government, where Cardinal Mar George Alencherry’s Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly is located, recently filed an affidavit with India’s Supreme Court asserting that nothing illegal took place with regard to the land deals.

The Syro-Malabar church is one of 22 Eastern churches in full communion with Rome, claiming a following of roughly 2.5 million in Kerala and 4.25 million worldwide.

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