Protesting Kerala Catholic priests call a truce with Church authorities

Protesting Kerala Catholic priests call a truce with Church authorities
A few priests under the leadership of Father Joseph Parekkattil were holding a relay hunger strike at the Major Archbishops’ House in Ernakulam, seeking a solution to their various demands.
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Kochi: The Church in Kerala is in a churn over a host of issues. A section of priests of the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church have called of their strike after holding conciliatory talks with the permanent synod members over a host of contentious issues that have been roiling the clergy.

A few priests under the leadership of Father Joseph Parekkattil were holding a relay hunger strike at the Major Archbishops’ House in Ernakulam, seeking a solution to their various demands.

They sought to end the needless trouble caused to them and the faithful over a case of document forgery. They were also opposing the disciplinary action against a few auxiliary bishops. The protesters had also demanded the removal of Major Archbishop Cardinal George Alencherry from the archdiocese duties.

The priests had resorted to agitation over a probe into charges that some among them had forged documents with the aid of lay persons to implicate the Cardinal over a land deal of the Church.

During the meeting with the representatives of the priests on Saturday, the synod members urged them to end the strike for the welfare of the Church and the Archdiocese. The meet decided to conclude the probe into the forgery case at the earliest and find the truth.

The meet also decided to appeal to the higher-ups to refrain from taking provocative actions. The senior Church authorities agreed to convey to the synod in August about the anguish and pain that the priests had endured over the suspension of the auxiliary bishops.

The meet also decided to discuss the priests' demands to let the Vatican take a call on publicising the contents of a report by the former apostolic administrator. It was also agreed to recommend to the synod on the appointment of an archbishop with special administrative powers to carry out the daily affairs of the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese.

A team led by permanent synod member Bishop Mar Andrews Thazhath held talks with the priests' representatives.

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