BANGALORE Catholic church and school Fight

Will take school-admin tiff to Pope: Church

Express News Service

BANGALORE: The church authorities on Friday met the aggrieved principals of Bishop Cotton schools to extend support and said that they would take the issue to the Pope, if need be.
The principals of both the boys and the girls divisions of Bishop Cotton School have alleged that the management board was infringing on their powers. They said the board’s over-involvement in the school’s dayto- day affairs and bureaucratisation was impeding the works.
On Friday, the principals got support from various church authorities in Bangalore, Tumkur and Kolar.
Col John Ellis, principal, Bishop Cotton Boys, said the church authorities told him that they would take the matter to the Pope if the management did not mend its ways.
Students, parents, teachers and alumni associations too extended their support to the schools.
“All we are asking for is respect and dignity,” Ellis said. Princess Franklyn, principal, Bishop Cotton Girls, explained how the board was taking over the admission process, book distribution and other affairs, which were hitherto under the principal.
She said that the board had left them as “mute spectators”.
While it has been two days since the principals have expressed their grievance, they have not yet heard from the board. The Church of South India oversees the management of these schools.


4 Responses to BANGALORE Catholic church and school Fight

  1. Money and sex corrupting the church

    IANS First Published : 17 Jun 2009 09:31:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 17 Jun 2009 09:43:48 AM IST
    NEW DELHI: Money, power and even sex are corrupting the church and anybody who dares speak up is gagged, says a Kerala nun who left her congregation last year amid much controversy and whose autobiography has just been published in English.
    “The rot in the church has set in because of affluence and power. The spirit of Jesus is depreciating. The greed for money and power is allowing all sorts of evil to creep in,” said Sister Jesme, 52, who had left the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel in Kerala On Aug 31, 2008.
    “With wealth and power come sex. The ambience of service and simplicity should be brought back,” she told IANS over the phone from Kozhikode.
    “Amen: The Autobiography of a Nun” was published in Malayalam in the third week of February this year. The English version of the controversial book, which takes a critical look at the church, was published by Penguin Books-India this week.
    Sister Jesme, the former principal of St. Mary’s College in Thrissur, decided to write her autobiography after leaving the order.
    The nun said the authorities’ repeated attempts to declare her “insane” was the immediate cause for her to leave her congregation. “They were trying to malign my reputation with false charges and medicate me. I pleaded for a month’s time, after which I decided to walk out,” she said.
    “Anybody who dares to speak out is gagged. The church does it all the time. They had done it to another sister in Kerala after diaries containing details about abortions in the church and illicit sexual relations were discovered. When the Women’s Commission in Kerala visited her in the asylum to bring her back, she was taking 12 tablets a day.”
    The book documents her 33 years as a nun. It speaks of the corruption by way of donations, sexual relations between nuns and priests and “same sex” relations between nuns.
    Her congregation apparently forged “anonymous letters” branding her a lesbian to remove her from the post of principal of the college, she writes in her book.
    The book also discusses class distinctions whereby “cheduthies” or poorer or less educated sisters do menial work and there is a gap between comforts enjoyed by priests and nuns, hinting at gender imbalance.
    Some of the priests are so rich that they own two cars, Sister Jesme said.
    The demand for nuns, says Sister Jesme, is growing every day because the church has fanned across the state with schools and colleges. “The nuns man these institutions and make up the faculties. The demand for novices is so great that the church is now recruiting from school campuses. Some of the novices are as young as Class 10 students. The bottom line now is quantity, not quality,” she said.
    “All our education institutions are in profit, but very little money is going for charity. The money of the people is in the hands of the church, but there is no accountability,” she said.
    Sister Jesme was drawn to religious life at 17 after a retreat at a junior college. She was allowed by the church to complete her post-graduate and doctoral degree in English literature and to pursue her passion for cinema and literature.
    “I even exposed my students to films believing aesthetics enhances spirituality,” she said. But her fight to restore her congregation to its “monastic form,” her creative thought processes and her wit landed her in trouble.
    The book is full of anecdotes – like priests allegedly kissing novices and Christian colleges collecting capitation fee.
    “I am planning to write a novel about a woman who is a little different from the ordinary women,” said Sister Jesme, who is also fighting another battle at the moment – a thyroid malfunction.

  2. Catholic church prepares to prevent scandals

    Sanu GeorgeIANSFirst Published : 27 Apr 2010 10:18:50 AM IST
    THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Catholic leaders in India are drawing up procedures to prevent scandals and tackle them if they happen, though the country
    has been spared the child abuse controversies rocking the church in Western countries, Christian leaders say.
    “The church is strictly a moralistic organisation, but the sad fact is that aberrations do happen. And this has happened from ancient times when even Popes
    have faced scandals. The church has to confess and, to start with, it has to show a little more of holiness,” said Paul Thelekkat, senior Catholic priest and
    spokesperson of the Syro Malabar Catholic Church.
    This is just not an issue of the church in the West. It is a lesson for every member of the church here right from bishops to the laity, Thelekkat told IANS.
    He said the Catholics Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) is working out a procedure for handling scandals.
    “I am told that this new standardised procedure would be ready soon. Guidelines will cover complex matters like dealing with psychological, civil and legal
    issues,” said Thelekkat.
    Christians in Kerala account for around 23 per cent of the 32 million population. The Catholic community accounts for more than 50 percent of the Christians
    in the state, followed by the Syrian Orthodox church. There are at least half a dozen other churches.
    The Catholic church in the state is passing through difficult times, though there has been no child abuse scandal.
    It has seen two priests and a nun being arrested for murdering Sister Abhaya, a bishop losing his job, a nun committing suicide, and another one landing up in
    a mental hospital. Last but not the least, there was a student studying for priesthood who ended his life after being unable to stand alleged atrocities by senior
    “See, as and when there is a human error committed by those who have to practise high moral values, the church steps in and strict action is taken. Just because
    someone has done a wrong, he cannot be condemned; instead we send such people for reformation and renewal courses and a huge majority of them realise
    their wrongs and correct themselves,” said Thelekkat.
    There are church leaders who believe some fundamental issues need to be addressed by the Catholic church.
    T.J. Joshua, a senior priest of the Syrian Orthodox Church , who for long headed the seminary of the church at Kottayam, says the problem of the Catholic
    church is the practice of compulsory celibacy.
    “I would say trying to club celibacy and priesthood is their biggest failure. Look at my church, here the rules are clear – those who are not interested to become
    a bishop can go on to have a family of their own,” Joshua said.
    “Sex is a reality. I am not saying that scandals are not there in my church. Yes, it is there and the need of the hour is to see that we learn from the mistakes of
    others,” he said.
    Joshua said, “What is happening in the Catholic church in the West should be a lesson for all others and (all) should learn from that.”
    Known Catholic rebel Joseph Pullikunnel, who has been having a long running feud with the Catholic church in the state, said there are 24 Churches in the
    world and it is only the Western Catholic Church where celibacy is a must for its priests and nuns and hence the problem.
    The issue in the Catholic church in Kerala is slightly different, he said.
    “Look, in Kerala they are the most powerful social organisation with several institutions run by them. More than half the problem would be solved if these
    institutions are freed from the clutches of priests,” Pullikunnel asserted.
    “And another thing is that unlike in the West, homosexuality is very rare and it is the relationships between priests and nuns that is a problem here,” he

  3. Reebu says:

    “BANGALORE: The church authorities on Friday met the aggrieved principals of Bishop Cotton schools to extend support and said that they would take the issue to the Pope, if need be……………”

    Bishops is run by CSI and they have nothing to do with Pope.

    • This is a Paper News Headlines

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