Why is the Mumbai Church Denying this death information?

Sarita Falcao

I am writing this out of a sense of disappointment, frustration and anger at the Catholic Church in Mumbai and hoping that someone here will be able to help me.

I require the record of death of my ancestor who died in 1934 in Lower Parel, Mumbai. The only place where the death has been recorded is the register of Holy Cross Church, Lower Parel. There are no municipal records of her death. We need the certificate urgently to settle some property issues.

The Church authorities, (right upto the Cardinal) are refusing to share the details with us, or even provide a photocopy of the page. incidentally, the records in the book are incomplete (only 30-odd deaths have been recorded for the diocese in 1934!) but fortunately we were able to see our name when the peon there allowed my Dad to glance at the book… probably pitying him for his age and the trouble that he had taken to get there on his own all the way from Goa, just for this.

The reason being cited is that the certificate has no name. Yes, that is indeed the case! but it is entirely the fault of the Church and not in our hands. Moreover, the ‘Mother of’ section, year and other details correspond with the rest of our family records.

Given that in 1934 the church was legally a death-registering body, can we demand the same via an RTI?

Thank you in advance for your time and help.


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.
This entry was posted in Church News in Mumbai/Thane/Navi Mumbai. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Why is the Mumbai Church Denying this death information?

  1. Have you tried giving the persons involved in withholding the information some ” incentive ” Try it — It will work like magic– HA HA 1111

  2. Cedric Vaz says:

    The Church may be right in not giving you the information that you desire for property issues. A long time ago the Church moved away from the State and hence cannot and should not wield any influence on the State. Besides “Omerta” or Silence is one of the highest virtues of The Church. for eg. Even in a Court of Law – if an accused has confessed to a Catholic Priest about having committed a murder, the Priest CANNOT be asked by the Court or Judge to stand witness or testify against the accused. Church record details are solely meant for use within Church-related activities and not for legal, political and State issues. A Priest who also has a law degree could explain the Church stand on your problem and as to why they cannot give you what you desire !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s