Catholic group protests over refusal for mass service
MUMBAI: Members of Our Lady of Vailankanni Association, a community group in Rajan Village is up in arms against the Archdiocese of Bombay after the parish priest under whom the group falls, refused it permission for a mass service in September.
The group said they has been celebrating the nine-day Novena service to Our Mother of Vailankanni at a grotto in Bandra for the last 20 years, and were shocked at the sudden refusal by Fr Clement De Lima, the parish priest of St Anne’s Parish in Pali Hill.
While De Lima did not answer calls or messages despite repeated attempts, HT has a letter addressed to the association headed by him, which says that “the Bishop has instructed that no masses be celebrated for private associations”.
Savio Miranda, chairman of Our Lady of Vailankanni Association, said, “We celebrate the feast of Our Mother of Vailankanni for nine days in September every year, with a mass. This year, the mass was planned on the third day of the event – September 8. It’s an event attended by not less than 700-800 people, and is followed by a procession with the deity’s idol. How can they suddenly refuse us permission?”
According to Miranda, who has written to the Archdiocese to protest the move and request for the permission, alleged the association was being singularly targeted. Miranda, founder of community-activist group Catholic Residents’ Organisation for Social Service (CROSS), said perhaps the reason behind the refusal was attempts by the group to expose alleged irregularities in the church body.
Joe Sodder, another member of CROSS, said private masses were being allowed at other parishes in the city.