Charge sheet on Bishop K P Kuruvilla


Date: 12/10/2010

Dear Bishop,

You came to this office with a good majority and with enormous good will of people. But you belied their expectations, betrayed their trust and made a mockery of this very sacred vocation. The last three and a half years of your tenure has been marked by fraudulent land deals, misappropriation and mismanagement of church property and funds, arbitrary and vindictive exercise of power, flouting of the C.S.I constitution, creating dissention and divisiveness within the church and parishes, demeaning and debasing the ordained ministry of the church, spreading falsehood without any moral compunctions, and administrative inefficiency and incompetence.

Your pathological preoccupation with your own self-importance and egotism has led the Diocese to a situation of spiritual and moral bankruptcy and crisis in administration, thus leaving us, the laity, with no other option except to organize and fight this moral and spiritual rot and stem the tide of a total collapse in the administration of the church.

Instead of maintaining and nurturing “the historic episcopate in a constitutional from” (CSI Constitution, Chapter 2-11), you have made the CSI constitution redundant, the constitutional offices and bodies irrelevant, and the democratic functioning of the diocese a far cry. Using threats and inducements, the Executive Committee, the Pastoral and Ministerial Committee and such other constitutional and elected bodies have been turned into instruments that serve your nefarious interests and designs. Besides the elected officers, a Working Committee constituted of shady characters with ill repute function as a coterie that implement your designs.

Democracy, which is a product of Reformation and Enlightenment, a historical legacy of Protestantism, can flourish only when dissenting voices are respected and encouraged. But, you have been trying to scotch them through threats of punishment and even summary removal from “the full, privileged membership of the church”, an epithet for excommunication; and through arbitrary and vindictive transfers of pastors and other employees in church institutions. This has caused dissention and division within parishes and great anguish to people who are deprived of the loving touch and nurture of a ‘good shepherd’. In this regard, you don’t seem to emulate the model of our Lord, Jesus Christ. The demoralized situation of the parishes in Puthiyara, Kozhikode (Cathedral Church and St Mary’s Church), Elamkulam and Kalamassery, to name a few, bear ample testimony to the consequences of your model of shepherding. Each week new parishes are being added to this list. This is spreading across-the-board destabilizing the unity and integrity of the pastorates.

The whole pastorate committee of Puthiyara was dissolved and five members including three members of the pastorate committee and one member of the diocesan council were removed from the “full, privileged, membership” of the church for acts which had apparently been described as indiscipline.  Spate of such actions continued on members of pastorate committees and members of diocesan councils in Cathedral Church, Kozhikode and Christ Church, Munnar. Instead of acting as an arbiter and reconciler, in all these instances, one finds you becoming part of the problem and supporting ministers in charge, who are devoid of any character and caliber. Then, without following the constitutional provisions and procedures of natural justice, you act without any effort for mediation and reconciliation. After having been so merciless in destroying the “sheep”, you lament about the 14 court cases filed against you but hide the fact that you are also a litigant and it is you who has gone on appeal, spending what was given by us as offering.

You have been vindictive towards Rev. Thomas John, a clergy who is held in high esteem in the ecumenical circles and in the public life of Kerala. First, you asked him to relinquish charge of the Holy Trinity Church, Aluva, at an odd time of the year, without showing any cause. Then you removed him from the Clergy Roll on the basis of a letter alleged to have been written by him asking for such removal. Why did you not listen to his plea that he had not written such a letter and that he be reinstated in the Clergy Roll? It would be clear for anyone with a sense of proportion and moral sensitivity that the action taken on him was premeditated and with malicious intent. Again, you transferred Rev. P. J. Jacob just after one year of his service in the Kalamassery Parish when the clearly laid out norm for transfer is three years of service or more. The pastorate committee and the whole congregation did not ask for such a transfer, but in fact, asked for his continuance in the parish. You treated this request with utmost disdain. This is nothing but a vindictive action against Achen for not complying with your clandestine deals associated with the leasing out of valuable properties in Fort Kochi for a pittance.

In this and many of the above mentioned actions, your derision to the rights of pastorates is obvious. While CSI constitution and the ecumenical convictions uphold the status of the pastorate as “representing in that place the same one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church” and that “every pastorate shall have general administrative authority within its area, shall have certain responsibilities in Church discipline, and shall have an opportunity of expressing its judgment both as to the appointment of its pastor ---“ ( CSI Constitution Chapter. 2-11), you were not willing to listen to the pleas of the congregations of Elamkulam and Kalamassery not to transfer their pastors. Rather, you were abusive and threatening. The Elamkulam pastorate, after being deprived of proper pastoral care for many years, had only one request that they be given a better Presbyter than the one who was transferred to their pastorate and who, according to their perception, had serious flaws in character. But, since you saw transfers as means of rewarding loyalty, the unanimous representations of both the congregations were not responded to and therein forcing them to take recourse to legal remedies.

Further, on Sunday, 29 August 2010, you went to an aided mission school in Thripunithara, broke open the school building which was under the control of the Elamkulam parish, and made a mockery of divine worship with six persons in attendance and a large public as onlookers. Except displaying your pomposity, what have you achieved by this action in terms of Christian Witness? Similarly, on Sunday, 5 October 2010, you walked into the Elamkulam Church without any notice or invitation, accompanied by a group of subservient clergy and a permanent entourage of sidekicks gathered from other churches. The divine service was conducted with the members of the congregation and the choir standing outside. As you left the church, you also did not forget to take the offertory with you, an act that is highly reprehensible, but characteristic of you.

In the ensuing meeting, you declared that you are dissolving the duly elected pastorate committee and constituting an officiating pastorate committee, while there are  very clearly laid out procedure given in the constitution for such an action (North Kerala Diocesan Constitution, Chapter 2-10 a, b, c). You had no qualms in initiating such an unconstitutional act which is unbecoming of a bishop. When the head of a Church is behaving in such an irrational, unpredictable, illegal manner, what recourse is left with the congregation except to seek the protection of the secular court?

In all these extra-constitutional ecclesiastical visits, you had the entourage of the same group of clergy who had left their flocks to themselves. Instead of being a good example to the clergy, you have debased their standard to that of your attendants rather than ministers of Jesus Christ and good shepherds of God’s flock. When sycophancy and servility are emphasized and rewarded, the quality, uprightness and moral fiber of the clergy is compromised. This using of clergy, particularly the younger ones, as pawns in your game plan will have long term and deleterious consequences for the diocese extending beyond your period of service. In the final instance, you will create a class of clergy who will be a disgrace to the Church and its witness in a rapidly changing world.

For a Christian, even in a legal battle, there is a certain standard of ethics one has to follow such as truthfulness and genuineness of the cause we are fighting for. Even persecutions in a court of law are, for a Christian, occasions for Christian Witness. But, it is surprising that you had no qualms in making false statements in your affidavits and counter affidavits. You made a sworn statement that there are no clearly laid out norms when the Executive Committee and the Pastoral and Ministerial Committees had concurred on certain norms as evidenced by the minutes of these committees.  You claimed that Rev. Thomas John is not a presbyter but only an honorary presbyter, when you know very well that there is only one ordination in CSI and that is to the position of presbyter. It has become obvious to us that you have no moral compunction in uttering blatant lies. Kindly note that this is not befitting the position that you hold; you are consecrated for a role, the measure of which is Jesus Christ. By these lies, you may or may not win a legal battle but it will be a moral defeat for the cause of Christ.

It has become rather clear that corruption in many forms is flourishing under your administration. It is public knowledge and your own financial statements reveal that the church does not have the necessary capital to start the four Higher Secondary Schools that the government has granted to the diocese. Surely getting the sanction for four Higher Secondary Schools by staying close to the corridors of power is not a mean achievement, but it is despicable that the finance to build these schools is being raised through donations of huge sums of money (according to Malayala Manorama Rs. 30 lakh per candidate) for the appointment of teachers in these schools. We understand that about 60 vacancies are being filled in this manner. In its news report, Malayala Manorama has highlighted how the church leadership/private management-politician nexus indulge in practices that are not only corrupt but also endanger the future of many prospective teachers who try to get employment by paying hefty sums.

The corporate managements of schools in Wayanad and Malabar, and the CMS Schools are mired in corruption and incompetence. When there are very competent lay persons with integrity and long years of educational and administrative experience in the diocese, you have found only two incompetent pastors to hold this position, whose prominent qualification is their subservience to you. This has led to a spate of departmental interventions and court cases as transfers were made on the basis of bribes and as punishments, in total violation of the Kerala Education Rules. As your genuine followers they cannot be blamed if they think of themselves as above the laws and rules of this country.

It has become evident to all and sundry, and even your records show, that you sold 2.75 acres of church property in Thalikulam for Rs. 2.75 crores when that property would have fetched CSITA by the least estimate close to Rs. 10 crores. You have done this without following the procedures for selling a trust property such as advertising it in prominent dailies; against the expressed instruction from the CSITA not to sell it; without power of attorney; and by a false statement that “CSI meeting has authorized you to sell it”, when there is no such constitutional body. Moreover, while you show Rs. 2.75 crores as the amount received from the sale of the said property, the sale deed shows Rs. 95 lakhs as the total price received for the land. Thus, you colluded with the buyers in creating a fraudulent document for the pecuniary benefit of both parties and causing heavy loss to the state exchequer. Now, civil and criminal cases are pending in the courts of Thrissur and Chavakad.

A similar attempt was made to sell a piece of land in a scenically beautiful location in Thariyode, which had been stalled by the timely publicity given by us and the subsequent intervention of the CSITA. Lease agreements signed or not signed or delayed in various places as in Munnar and Fort Kochi highlight the clandestine nature of these dealings and the resultant alienation of valuable properties in various locations in our diocese for inconsequential amounts. To begin with, you fell 300 mature teak wood trees from our property in Vaniamkulam worth Rs. 1 crore and the platry sum that the diocese received was only Rs. 5 lakhs. Then, you fell another 6o immature teak would trees under the pretext of constructing the Bishop’s House. Subsequently, we came to know that you fell another 12 rather big teak wood trees from the Trichur Bethel Ashram compound apparently for the same reason. These actions had been initiated without the permission or consultation of any of the constitutional bodies.

By your inaction, you have made obvious your complicity in the action of those who defrauded the All Saints Church of funds worth Rs. 13.5 lakhs as per the audited statement of accounts of 2005, 2006 and 2007. Consequently, a criminal case had been filed against the prime accused and yourself in the court of Judicial First Class Magistrate, Trichur.

You have initiated construction of the Bishop’s House and many school buildings without technical and engineering clearance, without proper estimates and appropriate administrative sanctions from the Executive Committee or other appropriate constitutional bodies. It is known to all that construction and “developmental activities” are misnomers for swindling money when they are carried out without transparency and authority.
You have made the Executive Committee and other constitutional bodies irrelevant and have been running the administration of the diocese with a coterie of corrupt people around you and in accordance with your whims and fancies. Now you are trying to undermine the democratically conducted election and the installation of the new Diocesan Council in connivance with one Bhagyaraj from Munnar through judicial wrangles. You could have replied to Bhagyarj’s complaint in 14 days from the date of election, whereby the stay granted by the court could have been vacated. Instead, you did not even bother to file a counter affidavit in the Devikulam Munsif Court and thus, inordinately delaying the installation of the new Diocesan Council.

Your arrogance, administrative incompetence, and lack of statesmanship are visible in the kind of wrangles and even physical violence that have taken place recently in congregations such as the St Mary’s Church in Kozhikode. You joined hands with the vicar and a section of the community to remove a portrait of Mary that has been there for a very long time, disrespecting the sentiments of the people in the pew. Spate of such judicial and extra judicial infightings will only multiply when the leader is unable to settle disputes with an attitude of Christian love and forgiveness.

It has become almost certain that, at least for a period, the diocesan administration is going into the hands of a Synod appointed administrative body. Day by day, the situation in the diocese is going from bad to worse. It is in this context that the 55,000 and odd laity in the North Kerala Diocese have decided to come together as a registered organization in the name of CSI North Kerala Diocesan Laity Fellowship.

We, the members of the CSI North Kerala Diocesan Laity Fellowship, appeal to you, the officials of the diocese, and the Executive Committee to constitute and install the newly elected Diocesan Council at the earliest. Till then, you and the committees may continue only as caretaker administrators and refrain from taking any crucial administrative decisions that will have long term implications for the diocese. Kindly refrain from taking any financial decision which is outside the routine and involves bigger amounts.

Kindly treat this as a final warning before we proceed with appropriate judicial and other remedies as per the provisions in the constitution. Our successive efforts to convince you of the dangers of the un-Christian path you tread have only fell in deaf ears. But we still pray and hope that good sense will prevail and relief and salvation for this diocese would be ushered in by our Lord. Crucial questions of episcopacy, the shape that it has taken today contrary to that envisaged by the CSI constitution; the notion of authority and obedience, the distinctiveness of our protestant-reformed tradition in understanding them; the role, powers and functions of pastorates; the status, functioning and role of CSITA; and the badly needed change in the polity of CSI in general are matters to be taken up at a more intellectual and broader platform.

Hence, kindly understand that our fight is not against you as a person, but more against the way you function within the existing system using more of its weakness to carry forward your designs in an arbitrary and dictatorial fashion, causing irreparable damage to the diocese and its spiritual and material development and more importantly, its mission in the world, the very basis of our existence as a church in the world.

Kindly facilitate a meeting of the CSI North Kerala Laity Fellowship along with some of the newly elected Diocesan Council members, presided over by you to seek ways of amicable settlement of these issues. We anticipate a positive response from you. If we don’t get a response to this letter within seven days of receipt of this letter, we reserve the right to go ahead with appropriate remedial measures.

Thanking You,
Yours Sincerely,

T. J. John
(Secretary, CSI North Kerala Laity Fellowship)

18 comments:

EBEBEZER CHRISTIAN said...

BISHOP K. P. KURUVILLA DOES NOT WANT TO RESPECT THE CONSTITUITION THOUGH HE IS A CONSTITUITIONAL BISHOP. I THINK THAT HE SHOULD BE BEATEN UP IN PUBLIC.MAKE HIM RUN AWAY FROM THIS DIOCESE. LET HIM GO AND DIE IN KODUKULANJI.

Shibu said...

I think CSI moderator shall constitute a synod court and put bishop kuruvila under trail. severe punishment is required so that it may remain as an example for others.

Reji, calicut said...

newly sanctioned four higher secondary schools...around 30 teachers vacancies were filled for a "Kozha" of Rs 30 lacs each. that is rupees 9 crore. the executive comittee which met on 20th, treasurer fenn achen acknowledged receipt of Rs 1.5 crore.balance rs. 7.5 crore is still with the bishop. kindly ensure that that money is recovered from him before he run away from the diocese.

Jithin Emmanuel said...

The best and the easiest solution :- Ask kuruvilla to take leave and send him to UTC bangalore. I think there is a special avenue to accommodate criminal bishops of CSI.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for our Bishop. The climax of all these problems are with the end of Bishop's reign in CSI NKD. God Bless, Lets pray so that God act upon him and at least, he lives rest of his life like a man and not a thief.

The End of a thief is so pathetic.

Anonymous said...

THE FATE OF VEERAPPAN,VARADA RAJA MUTHALIAR AND LTTE PRABHAKARAN. WHOLE WORLD SEEN WHAT WAS THEIR FINAL EPISODE.OUR GENTLE MAN IS WALKING TOWARDS SUCH A PATHETIC END.BUT THE LEFT AND RIGHT EDAPALLY AND RONY.WILL THEY HELP YOU DURING YOUR DAYS AS AN EXPELLED FELLOW FEOM THE PRIMARY MEMBERSHIP OF CSI.

Gigi Peter said...

Now a very serious question persist. Why is a Bishop still not answering the laity's questions? Are'nt you not responsible for that too? Why don't you answer to these doubtful questions through "Sabha Mitram". Remember that the laity are the occupants of the church and ignoring them means that tomorrow you will not have laity to take worship. Your highhanded attitude was very evident at elamkulam church. Priests come from laity and bishops come from priests. So remember you were also once a laity. I believe that, the one who gets anointed by giving cash is not God's anointed one. its a satanic act. That might be the reason you are facing problems like this. This is the tip of the Iceberg, the rest will come as the time goes.

Joseph John said...

Shame on Kuruvilla..nothing more than that, and there is no use in commenting more.

Rajan Kuruvilla said...

Please don't consider him as a person from Kodukulanji, or please dont brand him like that. We are not responsible for his Character.

George Philip said...

I don't blame Bp Kuruvilla or any of the other bishops....I only blame the laity. What were we doing all these years? Let us not forget that these are not "God's chosen" but chosen by mortals. It is high time the laity of all the CSI churches get together and demand action. Amending the constitution and make the running of the CSI a joint venture with the laity. More people involved, less chances of misdeeds.

Anonymous said...

If God is truth, one day we all will read in the News paper like this "Charges against Bishop Kuruvilla, true".

Anonymous said...

GOD OF ABRAHAM WILL HELP THE LAITY FELLOWSHIP.LOT OF TEARS FROM CHURCH MEMBERS.

Anonymous said...

Now a days those who have a higher degree in theology or a theologian will be elected as the Bishop. He may not have any commitment or pastoral experience. These so called theologian's or faculty member from a Seminary, usually do not believe in God or Jesus Christ. They may not have any God fear. This is the main reason for closing down of Churches in Europe. This may very soon happen in India also. So, Please elect committed,God fearing servant of God as Bishop's.

johson piroe.mumbai said...

excellent and remarkable work done by laitees.I use to visit your other blog of puttiyara members.Actually a total revolution is taking place in keral csi.Am I right? good.we pray for you.

william paul,Chennai said...

MR.PIROE, This bishop acts like the king shoul. visit kerala.These issues are with North Kerala Diocese only.Now we are ashamed of kerala csi christian denominations.But no other alternatives but to expose this extra ordinary personality. He acts just like your mumbai under world leaders.He deserves no mercy.no consideration.He has to be punished like a terrorist who disrupts our country.This man disrupts our church and making money out of it.

Anonymous said...

well,Congratulations Bishop Kuruvilla...you found out the simple and easy way to become a millionaire!!!now,steal as much money from the diocese for a peaceful retired life!!!may god bless you!!!!

senthilnath,kovai said...

Let us wait for some more days till he goes inside the bars like our kovai bishop.

Anonymous said...

i am seeing only talking with no action is been taken.....
guys NCSI is running because of the finances and donations from the above said churches only..... why dont we boycott this first.... we are doing this as a goodwill and they are taking it as granted ...stop this first..... they should first realize that because of our whole hearted weekly offerteries , dontation etc they are able to put their put greedy hands on that money....and other greedy priests should realise that they are living with our money ...... once we stop paying .. do they belive that their leader (bishop) will support them by selling his flat or with the money that he earned in a bad way.... make a list who all support this greedy group..... when were they come in front of us call them by name even though they are posted in higher places.....
somebody was suggesting that Moderator should take action.... ha ha i dont think that will happen...as our beloved bishop has sold his fault to pay them up..... and i know that nothing will happen.... we are just wasting our time by writing this or just making some voices....i am sure this bishop will be there for his full period and his supporters will enjoy by getting there shares...... and this will continue.... soo who are the foolsss.... and one more thing pls dont lose faith in church and christ ...even though its governed by the DEVILS....

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