Parishioners release 'struggle for justice' at Bishop's House

Parishioners release 'struggle for justice' at Bishop's House

As a novel protest by the parishioners from Holy Cross Church at Cordel, Kulshekar, seeking funds misappropriated by former parish priest Fr Valerian Pinto during his tenure in the church (2008-15), completed 10 weeks and as there was no sign of any further development, the parishioners released a 32-page booklet titled ‘Cordelites Struggle for Justice’ containing a bird’s eye view about the nature and quantum of misappropriation that took place in the Holy Cross Church in Kulshekar, in front of Bishop's House in the city on Thursday evening.

“Since the demand for justice has taken more than 30 months and yet justice seems to be a mirage, it was decided to inform all the concerned the true story and the various stages of cordelites’ struggle for justice so that those who are interested may know the facts,” Parish Council Vice President Praveen Patrao said.

He said the parishioners have not left any stone unturned to bring the issue to the notice of all the authorities concerned - right from Bishop to Archbishop and even to Vatican. The priest has not only remained adamant and non-responsible, but also continues to abuse power and authority besides the public funds given as donations for specific purposes, he said.

Quite interestingly, the booklet contains some of the copies of the original documents regarding: (1) Diary of events – description; (2) Hand written apology of Fr Valerian Pinto (admitting misappropriation of funds); (3) Bishop’s letter to the Vicar informing him the contents of the apology; (4) The cheque given by Fr Valerian Pinto for Rs 4,89,455 and Bishop’s covering letter saying that the cheque is towards payment of part of misappropriation; (5) Proceedings of the meeting with the Bishop, given under his seal and signature; (6) Modus operandi of misappropriation; (7) Measures taken by the Bishop; (8) Glimpses of struggle for justice; and (9) Report of the auditor and his remarks among other documents.

The booklet also contains a volley of unanswered questions to all the authorities concerned.

Meanwhile, Parish Council Secretary Michael D’Souza said that Cordel is not an isolated case and there are allegations of misappropriation in other parishes and institutions too.

“What measures are contemplated to ensure transparency and accountability of public funds?” he asked.

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