Toe the line or get out – Priest from Good Shepherd Church Andheri

A lady cantor  from Good Shepherd church who chose to support what she felt is the truth was told by a priest to stop singing in the church.

Read the letter below which is self explanatory.As you are all  aware all these dismissals are never given in writing and are only conveyed telephonically.The Vice President of St.Pauls Church Dadar was dismissed telephonically for asking questions regarding the parish church renovation which involved lakhs of rupees.Till today he has not been reinstated.Mr.Perigreen Gomes was also  dismissed from the Parish
Council verbally.There are many instances which have happened in the past.Yes we have to admit that certain priests are extremely intelligent.

A friend of mine told me a few days ago that in yesteryear’s the priests had the bible and we had the land, today we have the bible and certain priests have the land.Yes how true.

 

 

 

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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48 Responses to Toe the line or get out – Priest from Good Shepherd Church Andheri

  1. andrea says:

    My dear friends. First of all we have the right to information and the democratic right of speech and expression. I do not understand Fr, Jude Fereira’s action in phoning Pam and asking her to step down as a Cantor just because she was asking for some queries along with other members of the Parish. The reason he has given is quite a lame excuse. Can any one act on some statement given by another person? Is it not Fr. Jude’s duty to see if what he was told about Pam is right or wrong. There are many who go up to the altar for the liturgical readings and yet after that back bite about the others. Pam is not singing for any one person in particular but for the Glory of God.

    • Shri Amit Diwakar Ranade says:

      I’m a Hindu and I loved the way the Church built schools and hospitals. Therefore it is sad to hear stories like these. There will always be a few rotten apples! The mismanagement of funds and property is common in Hindu temples too. The only breather is that our priests are freelancers and our cremation sites are owned and maintained by the Municipal Corporation! If we don’t like the way the business is conducted in one temple we are free to move to another temple. But in the case of Christians I feel it will be difficult for honest people like Shrimati Pamela D’Souza to protest because all religious activities are usually done in Church premises. Be it the christening or the burial (thats what I felt when I attended a few Christian ceremonies and final rites). I am of the opinion that the RTI act also be applicable to all religious shrines! And each and every religious trust must publish the audited accounts and finanacial statements in local newspapers.

      • This to come from a Hindu.We must hang our heads down in Shame.

      • andrea says:

        Amit Good evening
        Yes dear that is the only difference in our religion.
        We love our Parish and would not want the hard earned money of the parishioners go into wrong hands. Let it be the Priest or the laity. We only want him to be transparent with the accounts. He should publish a book with the accounts and send it to each parishioner. One per house. If this was done then no one will blame the Priest or the people handling the accounts.

  2. Thou shall not sing His praises, if thou dont agree with me, so seems to be said by the priest who has stopped the laity from singing God’s praises.This is the silence of the lambs. I hope the Holy Father,his rep at New Delhi and the Cardinal of Bombay is listening. This is what I call neoptism and we the laity, and the people of the church of God will not stand come what may.
    Let the movement begin.

    • Shri Amit Diwakar Ranade says:

      Christian parishioners must form a body of representatives in every church by way of elections or by turn. And matters/proposals involving sale, lease, rent, reconstruction or redevelopment etc. of church property should be tabled before these representatives. And only after their approval should the church management go ahead. Audited accounts stamped and signed by a Chartered Accountant should go under the eyes of the Christian parishioners and these should be visibly posted near the doorway on a notice board! Christian parisioners should be allowed to demand a hard/soft copy of the a/cs. I think for these changes to take place the laity must launch a movement. It all sounds difficult but once streamlined things will become easier. Besides I feel such matters must be decentralised instead of taking orders from New Delhi or Vatican. Local Christian parisioners must have a greater say. This will encourage you guys to take interest in church matters. Otherwise the church properties will be vulnerable to misuse.

      • Yes Amit, you are right.This is spelt out in the Canon law that governs the administration of the church.Yet however the local parish priest in most cases does not follow the rule and when complaints are made to the Bishop and even the cardinal they sweep the issue under the carpet.I believe the only and best way now is to expose and get the Govt depts involved.

  3. Pietro says:

    This priest Fr John Lobo is the same priest who let out church property as a gym and got the church into problem in bandra, boot him out

  4. mary says:

    Its sad that this is happening in our Catholic Church. Why can’t we question our priest about anything which is genuine. Why do are Priest go to that extent of calling the Police and put a case under section 149 against people who are just asking them to be transparent. Dear Lord please guide your Shepherds to guide your sheep in the right path.

    • Jolly Kochery says:

      My name is Jolly Kochery and I am one the parishioners of Good Shepherd Church who met Fr. Jude Ferreira ( Ex-Sacred Heart Parish……..!!! ) on Pam D’Souza matter asking the ground for removing her from the Cantor group. His statement was it is between Pam and me and why you all have come here. He turned the entire incident upside down by stating that it was Pam who called and informed him that she wants to step down. A perfect lie and he should feel ashamed (They are all thick skinned) to stand before the community and preach the Word of God, while they do the opposite… Hypocrites real and true…

      The outcome of this encounter with Parish Priest Fr. John Lobo and Fr. Jude Ferreira , a police complaint against me and VP of PPC – Robert William. They want to silence the voice of Justice, transparency and accountability. They will sell their sheep for their own benefits. I recollect the the Biblical scene according to Mathew – “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a den of robbers.”

      The Voice of Justice can not be stifled and we will continue with our fight for accountability, truth and justice in all humility as our Lord Jesus would want us to do. We want Good Shepherd Parish to be a vibrant community caring for it’s needy and sick. Caring and supportive to people who need help. Parish Priests truly leading from front as Shepherds instead of “fleecing” their flock.

      • andrea says:

        Hello Jolly and Robert
        The truth will always win. This is the trial period that Jesus is testing us to see if we will give up and not call a spade and spade. Yes we will continue to walk in the path of truth even if we have to face the scorns of the ones who can’t stand for the right.

  5. judith monteiro says:

    From the letter of Mrs Pamela I gather that the information was given to a priest in confidence & the names of those who complained are not being disclosed.
    As I see it there are 2 ways of looking at it – (1) it is an indirect confession / modern day open confession – due to its secrecy & the fact that it is told to a priest or (2) it is idle gossip hence the secrecy bond the complainants have bound on the priest to safeguard their identity

    Given the above in :
    (1) once confessed the sins are forgiven, penance is already done by the one who confessed & since there is no punishment in confession Pamela CANNOT be punished AND since she didnot make the confession, she WILL NOT be repeating the sin if she continues to question … afterall she never considered it a sin in the first place BUT YES, the same people cannot go & repeat the confession again & again so the next time they bring up the topic the priest is no longer required to hear their confession
    (2) Idle gossip should NOT be entertained by any Priest. It sets not only a bad example but also a wrong precedent in the Church. Hence,such gossipmongers should be shown the door before they turn the Church premises into a market place (where the stink of the fish makes the market unbearable to remain in for long, the stink of the gossip will drive the laity away). Just as Christ drove away those turning the Church into a market place, the Priest should drive away those marketing gossip in the Chuch.

    The Clergy & laity are well aware of the coteries in each parish damaging the image of the Parish / Church,at large. Such coteries should be done away with ASAP. Christ & his people are the CHURCH & CHRIST is the WAY, the TRUTH & the LIFE, Hence care should be taken NOT TO SUPPRESS the TRUTH, lest We suppress CHRIST Himself. Christ instructed his Apostles to TAKE CARE OF HIS SHEEP, I hope the Priest who represents Christ apostle care for the laity as Christ would,

    SINGING at MASS is an important part of the LITURGY. These persons are not being spiteful with Pamela, but are being spiteful with the Liturgy & should be STOPPED IMMEDIATELY
    I hope & pray that the local priest will do the needful & sort out the matter themselves rather than wait for the Cardinal / Bishop to intervene after all they should be responsible for their own parish
    From Andrea’s letter I presume Andrea too is a parishoner & supports Pamela, hope other parishioners too stand for the TRUTH. In silence, we are party to the crime, but in voicing the TRUTH we partake & are 1 in Christ teachings

    Keep up the good work Pamela ! God is with you as you represent his TRUTH. If you ever fel alone in your struggle, remember you re his chosen one & he is using U to save his people from their bondage. He cannot be everywhere hence he uses US to assist his Cardinal / Bishop prevent his Church from turning into a marketplace. GOD BE WITH YOU

    judith monteiro
    dadar (w)

  6. Ralph Coelho says:

    If the Parish priest does not respond to a verbal complaint then the concerned parishioner is ENTITLED TO TAKE UP THE MATTER IN WRITING wire the Bishop of the Diocese. He is responsible for dispensing justice. I think Can 1389 is applicable. If there are too many complaints the parishioners can petition the Bishop to provide another Parish Priest.

    • Ralph, If the bishop and even the cardinal dont respond they?. I have has experience with the administration.They want to frustrate and tire you out and just dont respond.I believe a public exposure is the best.Yes I am aware that the internal issues must be resolved within the community,yet however when the attitude is to delay and sweep the issues under the carpet, then we have no choice.Lastly the local Govt depts must now be informed like the Charity comissioner, Income tax etc etc. Sad reality but the only alternative.

  7. fergus misquitta says:

    Is this the same JUDE who used to be at St. Stephen’s Church Cumballa Hill Mumbai ?????

  8. Anne says:

    I cant believe Fr Jude is capable of this !! I have very high regard for him ! Is this really true ?!

  9. Dominic says:

    Yes Judith some years ago Fr.Jude Ferreira made an open confession when he was posted in St.Michaels Church.So he definitely believes in the same.
    Yes confession is sacred so the contents should never be disclosed and if it has been disclosed it amounts to sacrilege.

  10. Pietro says:

    why dont you guys file a complaint with the income tax ,charity commisioner,sevice tax,and police and other government departments

    • Shri Amit Diwakar Ranade says:

      You Christians parishioners are the real owners/inheriters of the church. Therefore monetary & property matters must remain with you guys. With greatest respect for the Vatican, I feel that the Vatican’s role must only be of the guiding light in religious matters. The church property is worth thousands of crores of rupees. It is a bitter truth that money can corrupt even the best minds! Christian parishioners must put their act together before its too late. Please forgive me if I have offended anyone.

      • Amit, there is no offence,We catholics took the clergy for granted as our parents always taught us to respect them. That was history.Today times have changed and the Shepherds has abandoned their sheep. Catholics have now realised whom they are dealing with. There are alleged land scams, Financial irregularities and assets being sold and a host of various issues. We catholics are gradually standing up, the time is near and we will make the change.I have appealed to all like minded catholics to stand up against the tide.Of course there will always be a section that prefer to run around the hems of the clergy cassocks with the aim of being rewarded with contracts.

      • andrea says:

        Good Morning
        Amit you have not offended any one and the ones that will feel offended are the ones that have done wrong. We are only asking for transparency. We are just speaking up for the truth, this is not liked by many.

    • Pietro, that day is not too far.Since the Catholic church administration behaves in such a arrogant manner and treats the laity like rubbish.The time is near when all their actions will be exposed to the Govt depts.Then please dont let the people say,”why this extreme step” we are angry and tired of them.

  11. Roney Corriea says:

    The only answer to this is Matthew: 18 – 6 “If anyone should cause one of these little ones to lose his faith in me, it would be better for that person to have a large millstone tied round his neck and be drowned in the deep sea”.

  12. vincy says:

    The lethargic attitude of the Clergy is condemnable, if they don’t give in to the truth; in time we will be forced to take to the streets and expose them…..truth must prevail! “seek ye the truth and truth will set us free”?

    • True Vincy, This will happen soon. Take Mumbai for example, each and every parish has some skeleton in the cupboard on the parish. People are waking up and asking question, some stand up immediately some a bit slow and some don’t do a think for believe they will be ostracized. Time will tell and the people are on a revolt mode now. Some how The Holy Father,his rep in India, the local cardinals dont seem to take note.I am sure the Holy Father is being given wrong feedback, Dont know much of his rep in India. The Lord has chosen a few to clean his church from the administrative rot within.
      The movement has begun, Power to the laity,

  13. Pietro says:

    You guys need to take a morcha to archbishops house to embarass them?

  14. edgar says:

    I am Edgar Menezes and with Jolly Kochery and Bob Williams, I went to meet Fr Jude Ferreira to try and convince him to retract his decision to cashier Ms Pamela. I know Pam for many years (though she would not recall me earlier) and I hv seen the thought and dedication in everything that she does. To discourage and dismiss people who are as dedicated as Pam pains me immensely. This is victimisation at its worst. The fact of the matter is that Fr Jude and Fr John have taken it upon themselves to wage a systemic war on their own flock!! Is this what we require priests for? Every effort made to get them to the discussion table to meet and trash out the parish problems have been a failure because of their high handed and I AM THE ANNOINTED ONE attitude. So where does the Laity go? Vatican 2 is a joke. Justice Sunday is a joke. There are so many issues that the Clergy and the Laity have to discuss but the fear and animosity especially from the Clergy makes that impossible.
    Forums like this are probably the only way to get THINKING Catholics to get our of their comfort zone and make an effort for the LORD. After all we are all accountible when we go up there.

    Our slogan encompasses it all
    “WE WANT A PARISH BUILT ON COMPASSION, INTEGRITY, TRANSPARENCY, GOOD GOVERNANCE AND LEADERSHIP BY EXAMPLE”

    Edgar

    • Joseph D'Souza says:

      I am Joseph D’Souza, Member of Parish Pastoral Council ( PPC ), Good Shepherd Parish, Parishioner for 15 years +. I have witnessed what is happening in our Parish with Fr. John Lobo at the helm. The moment a parishioner ( respectfully ) voices his/ her opinion which is contrary to that what the PP decrees, he / she is sidelined / dismissed . I myself was verbally told by the PP, about one year ago, that I cannot continue to be part of the PPC, because the Association that had nominated me was not Registered / recognized. I told him that it was working in the Parish since the Year 2000, played an important part in the Family Cell, evangelization and support of youth and families, under three different PPs.
      I telephoned Bishop Agnelo Gracias and informed him. Within hours he wrote to Fr. John that the Association was indeed recognized and is recorded in the Archdiocesan Directory of Lay Associations, that it had the Approval of the Vatican and the Archbishop
      and that he himself ( Bsp. Agnelo ) was it’s Spiritual Director.
      At the PPC I used to raise mainly pastoral issues, after placing same on the Agenda,
      such as : Parish Vision Statement which was placed in a prominent place behind the Altar- dismantled, and now lying in the Backyard, near the toilets, Lack of silence after Holy Communion, Notices read with the Holy Tabernacle still open, PPC Meetings purely Business Mtgs, lasting barely one hour, totally disregarding norms prescribed by the Archdiocesan Office of Parish Pastoral Councils.
      There is no element of dialogue, Clergy / Laity Collaboration or Partnership. I had the privilege to participate in the Archdiocesan ( Synod ) Mid Term Assembly 2006 , where the focus was on these elements.
      The irony is that by and large parishioners are afraid to speak up, because of victimization / reprisals. And now with a Police Complaint made under Section 149, What is the way forward.
      Jolly, Bob the Lord is with you. Let us pray Psalm 91 daily.
      I have hope that our dear Bishops will act immediately to redeem the situation.

      • It is the right of catholics to form groups and this right flows from baptism and is not a concession given by church authorities as per paragraph 29 of Christifideles Laici.
        Christifideles Laici – John Paul II – Post-Synodal Apostolic – Vatican.va
        http://www.vatican.va/…/hf_jp-ii_exh_30121988_christifideles-laici_en.ht...
        30 Dec 1988 – THE LAY MEMBERS of Christ’s Faithful People (Christifideles Laici), whose “Vocation and Mission in the Church and in the World Twenty …

        Group Forms of Participation

        29. Church communion, already present and at work in the activities of the individual, finds its specific expression in the lay faithful’s working together in groups, that is, in activities done with others in the course of their responsible participation in the life and mission of the Church.

        In recent days the phenomenon of lay people associating among themselves has taken on a character of particular variety and vitality. In some ways lay associations have always been present throughout the Church’s history as various confraternities, third orders and sodalities testify even today. However, in modern times such lay groups have received a special stimulus, resulting in the birth and spread of a multiplicity of group forms: associations, groups, communities, movements. We can speak of a new era of group endeavours of the lay faithful. In fact, “alongside the traditional forming of associations, and at times coming from their very roots, movements and new sodalities have sprouted, with a specific feature and purpose, so great is the richness and the versatility of resources that the Holy Spirit nourishes in the ecclesial community, and so great is the capacity of initiative and the generosity of our lay people”(105).

        Oftentimes these lay groups show themselves to be very diverse from one another in various aspects, in their external structures, in their procedures and training methods, and in the fields in which they work. However, they all come together in an all-inclusive and profound convergence when viewed from the perspective of their common purpose, that is, the responsible participation of all of them in the Church’smission of carrying forth the Gospel of Christ, the source of hope for humanity and the renewal of society.

        The actual formation of groups of the lay faithful for spiritual purposes or for apostolic work comes from various sources and corresponds to different demands. In fact, their formation itself expresses the social nature of the person and for this reason leads to a more extensive and incisive effectiveness in work. In reality, a “cultural” effect can be accomplished through work done not so much by an individual alone but by an individual as “a social being”, that is, as a member of a group, of a community, of an association, or of a movement. Such work is, then, the source and stimulus leading to the transformation of the surroundings and society as well as the fruit and sign of every other transformation in this regard. This is particularly true in the context of a pluralistic and fragmented society-the case in so many parts of the world today-and in light of the problems which have become greatly complex and difficult. On the other hand, in a secularized world, above all, the various group forms of the apostolate can represent for many a precious help for the Christian life in remaining faithful to the demands of the gospel and to the commitment to the Church’s mission and the apostolate.

        Beyond this, the profound reason that justifies and demands the lay faithful’s forming of lay groups comes from a theology based on ecclesiology, as the Second Vatican Council clearly acknowledged in referring to the group apostolate as a “sign of communion and of unity of the Church of Christ”(106).

        It is a “sign” that must be manifested in relation to “communion” both in the internal and external aspects of the various group forms and in the wider context of the Christian community. As mentioned, this reason based on ecclesiology explains, on one hand, the “right” of lay associations to form, and on the other, the necessity of “criteria” for discerning the authenticity of the forms which such groups take in the Church.

        First of all, the freedom for lay people in the Church to form such groups is to be acknowledged. Such liberty is a true and proper right that is not derived from any kind of “concession” by authority, but flows from the Sacrament of Baptism, which calls the lay faithful to participate actively in the Church’s communion and mission. In this regard the Council is quite clear: “As long as the proper relationship is kept to Church authority, the lay faithful have the right to found and run such associations and to join those already existing”(107). A citation from the recently published Code of Canon Law affirms it as well: “The Christian faithful are at liberty to found and govern associations for charitable and religious purposes or for the promotion of the Christian vocation in the world; they are free to hold meetings to pursue these purposes in common”(108).

        It is a question of a freedom that is to be acknowledged and guaranteed by ecclesial authority and always and only to be exercised in Church communion. Consequently, the right of the lay faithful to form groups is essentially in relation to the Church’s life of communion and to her mission.

      • This clearly show the the arrogance and the defiance of these selected parish priests.They have no respect, yet the higher ups for reasons best know to them cannot do a thing to initiate discipline.This is the situation of the administration, it also could be these selected parish priests know a lot about the higher up, so to continue to hide the skeletons all is swept under the carpet.
        Lord help your people.

  15. mary says:

    Here is a small prayer I Lifted up to Lord our heavenly father today
    To guide his Shepherds to guide their flocks in the right directions.
    Towards the house of God and not away from it.

    The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
    he leadeth me beside the still waters.

    He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the
    paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the
    shadow of death; I will fear no evil: for thou
    art with me; thy rod and thy staff they
    comfort me.

    Amen

    • Amit Ranade says:

      In Germany the Bishops have levied a ‘pay and pray’ tax, 9% of annual income. With it there is an alleged vieled threat that those who won’t pay it will be ex-communicated from the faith. Is such a tax paid by Christian parishioners in India? I thought of Christianity as a ‘service oriented faith’. Since when has money taken the centrestage? It is very depressing.

      • Amit, Is no so much as giving, its the question of accountability and transparency in the receipts and expenditure .After all its pubic money and the church administration needs to have accountability.

      • andrea says:

        Good morning Amit
        So far I’ve not heard of such a thing in India. But yes it is depressing that money has taken a centrestage with religion too. We just have to pray that this idea changes in the near future.

    • Thank you Mary.While prayer is needed, It would be nice if small groups are formed to pray for the Clergy.Of course we will help to clean up the rot within the administration, we need workers also

  16. Pingback: Toe the line or get out – Priest from Good Shepherd Church Andheri | Christian Reforms

  17. Thanks Amit, that was helpful.I will have the same circulated around. The laity needs to stand up and demand transparency, accountability and bring an end to nepotism within the administration.

  18. What has happened to this issue at Good Shepherd parish Andheri. Its time the laity of the parish take the issue to the Govt depts on taxes.
    There is no hope for a just and unbiased response from the clergy, so I believe that taking the issues to the Govt depts is the best shot.

  19. Mark says:

    Hi, I just stumbled on this website and here I am. My sincere request is that the church matters should not be made public. Let everything be sorted out within the church premises. All of us have to stand before the judgment seat of Christ one day. So, let us humble ourselves so that God may exalt us. Thank you.

    • Hi Mark, I could not agree with you more, yet however we have made appeals to Our Dear cardinal and the zonal bishops and there seems to be little done.In fact I am told that the zonal bishops has asked the parish priest of Good Shepherd to withdraw the local police complaint, he has not bothered and continues to hold his position. Of course community matters must be sorted out within the community, yet however when the administration ignores what the laity highlights and hopes that with time the issue will be forgotten, we will not take this. Gone are the days when we believed that those guilty are answerable on the day of judgement.I sometimes wonder if there is a day of judgement as if there was, I doubt concerned individuals will scam around with the finance and assets of what belongs to Our Lord Jesus Christ.
      I am for a open community debate on all the church related alleged scams in assets and finance. Will you be willing to take on a unbiased debate under the watchful eye of the media?

  20. I am told that the Good Shepherd Church issue still remains unresolved. Please let it be know that we have not given up, we have only given those clergy involved and the zonal bishop as well as Our Dear cardinal who is always so busy traveling overseas time to get things in order. If one goes through feeback on various issues on Mumbai laity, this is the single one that has generated over 64 feedback from the local parish, Archdiocese of Bombay, India and even overseas.
    I for one will never allow this to die down unless those clergy responsible are brought to book and justice restored.
    I hope Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the Zonal Bishop, the Holy Father and the Apolistic Nuncio are listening.

  21. So John Lobo has been packed off to Sacred Heart parish Santa Cruz Mumbai and Jude shunted to St Anthony Vakola.
    Being a parishioner of Santa Cruz, it would be my duty to greet john Lobo with affection for all the good things he did at Good Shepherd Andheri..
    I have asked the parishioners of St Anthony to also greet and facilitate Jude who was a great help to John Lobo.

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