Row over Se Cathedral painting

May 5, 2013

Priest, parishioners allege ASI workers did not inform authorities


OLD GOA: Relations between the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and parishioners of Se Cathedral have soured yet again, with the parish priest and parishioners alleging that ASI workers had removed paintings from many chapels and altars at the Se Cathedral Church in Old Goa in the last few months without informing church authorities.

In a letter to ASI Superintending Archaeologist Dr Shivanand Rao, Parish Priest Fr Leonard Correia and parishioners claimed that many paintings have been removed by ASI workers from various chapels and altars at the Se Cathedral Church, without informing church authorities.

The parishioners also informed the ASI that there have been instances where large pieces of plaster and stone have collapsed from the ceiling of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at Se Cathedral during religious services, rendering the Chapel unsafe for religious services.

“Barely 18 months are left for the Exposition of the Relic of St Francis Xavier and ASI officials are least bothered to take a note of the issue,” a parishioner told Herald.

A letter also addressed to Archbishop-Patriarch of Goa Felipe Neri Ferrao, Fr Joseph Salema of Pastoral Institute and Fr Saturnino Dias of the Se Cathedral, highlights the many difficulties faced by parishioners of Old Goa.

“There is no proper coordination between the ASI and church authorities whenever such paintings and religious items are removed for restoration,” states the letter.

“The altars of Our Lady of Good Hope in the Se Cathedral are in dilapidated condition for the past several months and no restoration work has been initiated, despite several verbal requests and reminders,” the letter added.

When asked to comment on allegations of the parishioners, Dr Rao told Herald over phone that he was unaware about any letter written by parishioners.

“I am not aware of any letter written to my office till date since I’m out of station and I will be back by Monday,” said Dr Rao.


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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6 Responses to Row over Se Cathedral painting

  1. Cedric Vaz says:

    The communal divide between Christians (Roman Catholic church in Goa) and Hindus (mostly ASI authorities) has sooner or later once again raised it’s ugly head. This is nothing new as it has been going on for centuries right from the time St. Francis Xavier set foot in Goa ! The Church authorities in Goa and elsewhere in India should never have gone “begging” to the ASI for support and maintenance of our Christian heritage structures. The Vatican in Rome has enough money and wealth (accumulated all these years) to “take care” of all their historical churches and cathedrals. It’s only that Rome should be prepared to spend on church maintenance and not waste their wealth on Conclaves and a luxury way of life in Vatican and Europe. That way the Church in Goa would have full autonomy to carry out independently their own affairs without any interference from the ASI authorities or state. We only have ourselves to blame now !

    • Hi Cedric, I agree with you.Yet on deep reflection who is to be blamed for this community divide. Its the administration authorities of the church itself.
      The church authorities believe they are’gods on earth’ and despise the laity. Gross unacceptability and nepotism couples with no interaction with the people is the basic cause. Your views would be appreciated.

  2. Ralph Coelho Yahoo says:

    This requires be sorted out. It may be a misunderstanding or the mindset of a particular person. Ir. was not so long ago that the ASI carried out extensive and sensitive research to unearth traces to a Georgian(?) princess whose remains were believed to be interred in one of the heritage site looked after by the ASI. Whatever some may say the ASI has done a commendable job but it mat not meet the expectations of some, particularly now after are many of people with money who would like more to be done. Let us work within the confines of government systems and not let enthusiasm, religious or otherwise , not jeopardize the objects of our enthusiasm.

    • The church administration and the laity, must join hands for the good of the community. This is not happening and both parties have strayed away from each other. The Church authorities need to be humble, transparent in all finance and asset matters and not arrogant as they are today.Nepotism is also one of the main reasons that the people have moved on and joined other splinter groups.
      Would appreciate your views please.

  3. Peter Carvalho- Arlem- Goa. says:

    Have not seen any comments from The Archdiocese of Goa.I am sure they have a spokesperson who can keep the community in India informed. Would appreciate a response.

    • Dear peter, dont expect to hear anything from Our Dharma Sevaks. They run for cover as they dont know what to say. They can only preach and make the simple catholic obey.

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