Cardinal George Alencherry who now a days is in deep trouble for allegedly being part of shady land deals, has in his Good Friday address asserted that importance needs to be given to god’s laws. In the message he also expressed his displeasure over the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church moving to court against him.
He claimed that citizens should live by the country’s laws but also need to give due importance to the ‘rule of god’. He also claimed that it was a wrong notion to measure god’s justice with the nation’s justice.
Other reports, incidentally claimed that the cardinal asserted that the “legal system shouldn’t interfere with the canon’s laws”. It quoted him as saying that, “its the duty of the citizen to obey the rule of law existing in the country, but more importance should be given to the divine law”.
He then supposedly pointed the fingers to unknown individuals within the church to claim that they wanted to control the church via court orders. He thus insinuated that these individuals hadn’t understood the Bible’s words properly.
The Cardinal delivered this controversial speech from the Kokkamangalam St Thomas Church in Cherthala, Kerala.
Following the controversy which erupted due to the speech, the church spokesperson resorted to damage control by claiming that the cardinal’s comments were distorted by the media.
Coming to the shady land deals, the cardinal has been accused of favouring a middleman who sold Church land worth 27 crores for a price of 13 crores. In spite of selling below its market value, the Church had received only 9.3 crores. In his defence, the Cardinal had claimed that the balance had remained unpaid due to demonetisation. In total, reports have speculated that the church has lost about 93 crores.
The Cardinal has now been booked under sections 120B, 406, 415 and 420 of the IPC following a Kerala High Court directive. These sections pertain to crimes like cheating, dishonesty, criminal breach of trust and criminal conspiracy.
Besides the police, the cardinal has also had to deal with opposition from within the church with Kerala priests vociferously demanding his removal for shady land deals.
The cardinal had incidentally tried to use the defence of “Canon’s laws” while arguing his case before the Kerala High Court by claiming that only the Pope could punish him under Canon law. The High Court promptly retorted that the Pope had no jurisdiction in India.