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Church People See Communist Game In News About ‘Criminal’ Priests

ICC Note: This is disturbing news, as elsewhere in India communists have supported Christians at times. Now that the communists are in power, however, the Christians are seen as a threat.

11/1/07 India (UCAN) — Media in Kerala have published a list of 63 “criminal” Christian priests, something Church people see as political scheming by the state’s communist government.

In mid-October, television channels and newspapers in the southern Indian state carried the news that 63 priests face criminal charges including murder, attempted murder and immoral trafficking. The accusations also include sexual harassment, fraud and financial mismanagement. The clerics belong to a wide range of Christian denominations, but 83 percent are Catholic.

The police released the list of cases registered across the state to journalist Anil Kumar. The TV journalist told UCA News he applied for the information “out of curiosity,” and when the police released it he used it as a story. “It was very interesting,” he remarked.

But the story is not that simple, says Charlie Paul, a High Court lawyer and former president of the Kerala unit of the Christian Life Community. He dubs it a media-sponsored campaign against the Church and its clergy.

“It’s a planned attack against the Church through blackmailing,” Paul told UCA News. The “vicious campaigns” will not impact the laity, much “as they can see through its motives,” he added.

Christian groups and communist organizations have been at loggerheads in Kerala since a Marxist-led coalition government headed came to power in July 2006. Church people say the government’s policies try to curtail minority rights and take over Christian institutions.

Paul points out the published list “shows a double standard” by mentioning only Christian priests. “What about Hindu priests and Muslim clerics?” he asked… [Go To Full Story]