Archdiocese silent on transparency debate

Published Date: July 30, 2010

Tags: Church in Goa, financial dealings, public scrutiny, transparency debate

Church procession in Goa. A recent government move could allow public scrutiny of all Church activities, including financial ones.
The Church in Goa is refusing to comment over a recent government move that could allow public scrutiny of all Church activities, including its financial dealings.
“I have nothing to say,” said Father Francis Caldeira, spokesperson of Goa and Daman archdiocese on July 30, three days after the media reported on the state move.
The state Legislative Law Committee on July 26 asked the Law Department to make a comprehensive study of the possibility of bringing the Office of the Archbishop Patriarch of Goa within the purview of the Right to Information Act.
The committee’s request came after the Law Department recently expressed doubts whether the law could be applied to all the office’s activities.
The law, passed in 2005, says all public and private authorities are bound to disclose information about their activities if they receive at least 10 percent of their income from government subsidies.
The issue arose after Antonia Michelle Abel, a Catholic, wrote to the legislative committee suggesting all activities of the archbishop’s office be covered under the law as is the case with any government department.
However, opposition Bharatiya Janata Party leader Manohar Parrikar said on July 29 that his party was not interested in bringing the archbishop’s office under the act.
Averthanus D’Souza, of the diocesan Commission for Social Justice and Peace, said the archdiocese already has a Social Communication Media Commission where individuals can seek information about the archdiocese.
“All Catholic dioceses worldwide are required by canon law to conform to the laws of respective countries,” he said.
This would mean the act would be applicable to all Indian dioceses, not just Goa archdiocese.
One local Catholic saw a more sinister motive behind the move.
It’s an example of politicians using “people to target Catholics” in the state, said James Moraes.

About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
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2 Responses to Archdiocese silent on transparency debate

  1. Gordon Jacobs says:

    If this is demanded by law, then its would be binding that all Catholic churches in India follow this law. Let me hasten to also say that this need to be implemenets by other faiths.

    However of Mr Manohar Parrikar believes “his part” is not interested he is doing this for his vote bank and I would be obliged to know if the BJP top brass also support his claim.

  2. Gordon Jacobs says:

    I have now clearly understood that the clergy are in fact “holy thieves’ they do not respond to any correspondance you send to them and are confortably tucked away under canon law. We Indian Catholics must insist that we need to be able to ask questions to them under RTI, and also get the Charity commissioner to be able to take up financial and asset related issues against them.I am fully aware that we Catholics wish to contain our religious issues within the community,yet since the “Top Bosses” of the clergy, Cardinals and bishops wish to sweep issues under the carpet, what other alternative do we have.
    Another recently growing issue is sex related matters that seem to be poppong up at least one in every parish, here too the cardinal and bishops sweep it under the carpet.

    I as a catholic have lost complete trust and faith in the administration of the Catholic church, however let me hasten to mention, the religion is supreme.
    Shame on our clergy, few apples spoil the name of all.

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