Catholics demand transparency in Church

Catholics demand transparency in Church

It also asks the Church to hand over the administration of its assets to the faithful, leaving priests free to concentrate on their religious and apostolic duties. The memorandum follows a closed door conference held in Goa that was chaired by the former union minister Eduardo Faleiro. Prof M V Pylee of the Asian Institute of Development and Rev Arokyasami of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India had addressed the August round table that was attended by some senior members of the Goa clergy and Catholic professionals.

“The Church, which teaches obedience to civil laws, should set an example in obeying them,” the memorandum says, arguing that though the church may not be a democracy, it needed to carry the entire community and function on the basis of consensus or by majority.
Priests and community members at the conference had brought to light the lack of accountability in the management of assets and sale of church properties in Goa -- some of which have ended up in the hands of big building lobbies – nepotism on the part of parish priests in the appointment of committees and the inaccessibility of the current Bishop to address the grievances of ordinary people.

The memorandum asks the Bishop to set up a tribunal empowered to investigate complaints of maladministration. “Required steps may be taken now to prevent a situation such as arose in some countries recently where the Catholic Church suffered grievously due to lack of accountability by individuals and cover-ups over a period of time,” the appeal to the Bishop says.

Huge amounts from donor funds were paid by the Church in the USA and Canada to settle sexual abuse cases that had been covered up by the religious orders for decades.

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