Christians Demand a Church Lokpal to check Corruption in Indian Churches

L to R: New Delhi Archbishop Concessao & Fr. Cedrick SJ join Anna Hazare's fast, 7 April 2011

New Delhi, April 21, 2011: Close on the heels of Anna Hazare’s campaign against corruption, the demand for a Church Lokpal type body to check corruption within Churches in India and Right to Information for the Christian community members is gaining momentum. Two Christian organisations, Forum of Indian Christians (FORUM-ICRA) and Poor Christians Liberation Movement (PCLM) in a joint Good Friday appeal to the Christian community in the country have floated the idea of a Church Lokpal to be appointed by the Church leadership themselves.
In the appeal, they  urged Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai and Archbishop Vincent M. Concessao of Delhi to appoint a Jan Lokayukta within Church on the lines of Anna Hazare’s JAN LOKAYUKTA which is meant for the corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and Government officials, accountable and liable for punishment.
“Why not root out the corruption from the Church institutions too,” Joseph Gathia of Forum ICRA and RL Francis President of the PCLM questioned in the press release.
Archbishop Concessao of Delhi is one of the founders of the ‘India against corruption’ movement. “The focus of the whole campaign is to bring about awareness against the menace of corruption which is also a moral evil. I am fully with people who work towards rooting out corruption from all sectors of public life”, the Archbishop has said.
Will our Cardinals and Archbishops consider constituting a Lokpal type body for the Churches inIndia, which will make corrupt bishops, parish priests and clergy accountable and liable for punishment?
The  Church Lokpal  will be a collective of  five  members to receive and investigate complains from Christians and other peoples’ on corruption charges at any level within the Church administration and institutions, explained Joseph Gathia, well known human rights activists and chief functionary  of Forum-ICRA. The five members may comprise of a retired archbishop nominated by the Vatican, one priest, one nun, one laity. One member belonging to other faith may be incorporated as Church in India believes in inter religious dialogue. The tenure of the Church Lokpal body can be three years. This provision of the Church Lokpal  as well as an active Christian civil society can play a major role in checking corruption within the Church administration and institutions, Joseph Gathia said.
R.L. Francis, president of PCLM, expressed dismay over the fact that very often those involved in corruption in the Church go unpunished and that is why people are leaving the Church. He pointed out that only a small portion of poor Christians are receiving the benefit of the Church run institutions and development projects.
“It is unfortunate that whenever any major allegation of corruption crops up, the Church authorities as well as the concerned Bishops prefer to keep quiet instead of seriously probing into the allegations to take stern action against those involved,” RL Francis, president of the PCLM lamented. Giving one such example, he said that when the money corruption reports came up in Mumbai instead of probing into the reports, the Archdiocese was only on the denial mode and simply denied all the charges.
However, the human rights activist said that only the Lokpal type body for Church would not be enough to check corruption. He stressed the need for a vigilant Christian society, which can play the role of a watchdog to check corruption. Moreover, the Church in India need to introduce the Right to Information (RTI) for Christians so as to expose corruption at all levels within the Church, the press release added.
Issued by: R L Francis- PCLM, New Delhi, Ph. 9810108046,


1 Comment

Filed under Church lokpal

One response to “Christians Demand a Church Lokpal to check Corruption in Indian Churches

  1. Gaurav

    can u tell me some community members of lokpal bill plz message me

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