Kollam – Transfer of a priest from a parish in South India’s Kerala State evoked tensions among protesters with many injured in a clash between policemen and members of the Catholic parish.
With tensions rising, the Police resorted to firing tear gas shells and beating up the aggressive mob. Some protesters were hospitalized with minor injuries. Irate protesters pelted stones after they were stopped by the police in front of the Bishop’s House.
The protest was organized by members of Kurippuzha, a parish in the suburbs of the town, demanding cancellation of the transfer orders of the vicar serving them. The parishioners called for the priest to be retained in the parish till the ongoing renovation of the church building was completed.
Talks held between the bishop’s representatives and parish council on the issue had failed and the transfer order was read out at the Church May 25th.
Though appointment and transfer of priests are the prerogative of the bishop, emotions from parishioners could not hold.
The transfer order was issued in normal circumstances as it had been the policy of the diocese to move vicars who had served three years in a parish, a church spokesperson said.