Syro-Malabar Church synod tomorrow amid land deal row

The Synod of Kerala-based Syro-Malabar Church will begin here tomorrow amid a raging controversy over a land deal in which the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese allegedly suffered huge financial loss.

A group of priests and faithful have accused Syro-Malabar Church head Cardinal George Alencherry, who is also the Archbishop of the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese, for selling the prime land of the archdiocese here for "a very low price".

They alleged role of land mafia in the sale of land in a non-transparent manner violating even civil and canon laws.

While the Cardinal, known for his simplicity, refused to react to the row over land sale, his supporters have dubbed the charges as a 'misinformation campaign'.

All India Catholic Almaya Forum urged the priests to stop the campaign being carried out against the Cardinal.

They alleged that a handful of priests were trying to defame the Syro-Malabar Church having over 55 lakhs followers and 35 dioceses.

Ahead of the crucial meeting of the Synod comprising Bishops of the Church, Presbyteral Council of the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese has shot off a letter to the Bishops to take up the issue in the Synod.

The priests alleged that a commission appointed by the Archbishop to enquire the land business had found that there have been serious violations of canon and civil laws.

According to the agitated priests, the commission had found that the revenue from the sale of 3.06 acres of the land in the city was expected to fetch Rs 27 crores as per the understanding, but officially only Rs nine crore had been shown as sale proceeds.

They claimed thatRs 18 crores was shrouded in mystery and remained unaccounted.

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