Episcopal Goonda-ism Yet Again

 

It is rather unfortunate that bishop K. P. Kuruvilla, obsessed with his own self-importance, has been repeatedly exercising his ‘ecclesiastical authority’ to disrupt church services. On Sunday, 3 October 2010, without any prior notice to or invitation of the pastorate committee, the bishop, accompanied by Rev. Jacob John, Rev. Daniel John, Rev. Kurien Peter, Rev. Jacob Daniel and Rev. P. G. Denny (his five loyal henchmen who had been skipping their responsibilities towards their own “sheep” for the last few Sundays to accompany the bishop) laid siege on the CSI Christ Church, Elamkulam, and conducted a worship service against the wishes of the congregation. Anguished by the complete disregard shown by the bishop, the choir, the pastorate committee and large sections of the congregation boycotted the worship service.

As the congregation refused to enter the church in protest, the Bishop ensured that some of his loyalists from other churches in Ernakulam such as Jayan Samuel, Sawmini Jayan and Jacob Mathew filled the pew. In the ensuing melee and supposed “reconciliation talks”, the bishop declared the existing pastorate committee dissolved and a new officiating pastorate committee appointed. This was done when a newly elected pastorate committee has been awaiting confirmation and the whole matter regarding the rights of the pastorate remaining a subject matter before the court (sub judice). It is a matter of immense shame that the bishop and his loyalists left the Elamkulam church that day with the offertory.

While this apparently seems to be a matter of conflict between a bishop and a parish, both in the case of Kalamassery and Elamkulam, Save CSI has learnt that the conflict raises fundamental questions regarding the rights of parishes envisaged in the CSI constitution, which states: “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 and the selection of candidates for ordination from that pastorate. (CSI Constitution Chapter. 2-11)

The conflict arose in the context of the bishop’s disinclination to listen to the pleas of the congregations of Elamkulam and Kalamassery not to prematurely transfer their pastors without adequate reasons. Every delegation of both the congregations was met with abuses and threats. The case of Elamkulam parish was such that it was deprived of proper pastoral care for many years. In the context of the existing pastor retiring from service, a pastor with serious flaws in character was imposed on the parish. The parish objected to this and requested that they be given a better pastor, and until such a time, the existing assistant pastor be retained. However, for the bishop, transfers have been a means of showing his largesse to those pastors who remain loyal to him than meeting the unique needs and spiritual nurture of parishes. Hence, he did not feel the need to respond to the unanimous representations of the congregation, thereby forcing them to take recourse to legal remedies.

 The officiating committee that has been constituted in Elamkulam church is in flagrant violation of the North Kerala Diocesan Constitution. The NKD constitution stipulates the conditions for dissolving a pastorate committee and then concludes: “the bishop after conducting the enquiry by a panel constituted of the Executive Committee members (not exceeding three) and if satisfied shall dissolve the Pastorate Committee and shall appoint an Officiating Pastorate Committee in consultation with the Executive Committee”. (NKD Constitution, Chapter 2/10) Certainly, members of the congregation feel that the bishop is capable of fabricating an enquiry commission report, but even that cannot be done without showing cause to the existing pastorate committee and the newly elected pastorate committee, who are awaiting confirmation. Moreover, this action has been initiated when various related matters are pending before the honorable courts, including the High Court of Kerala.

A Repeat of Ecclesiastical Arrogance

Worship inside an empty church
On Sunday, 17 October 2010, the bishop returned to disrupt the church service yet again. This time, he was accompanied by his mannequin treasurer, Rev. B. F. Fenn and the “in-his-obedient-service” Rev. Daniel John, who has been skipping his responsibilities towards his parish for the last several weeks. The bishop and his entourage once again staged a worship service with a handful of members of the parish and outsiders. But this time, in protest, the congregation was determined to hold a parallel worship service outside the church. The joint chorus of the choir and the congregation drowned the discordant and empty voices emerging from inside the church. The day was concluded with the bishop, once again calling for a mock meeting with the congregation.



Worship outside the church
This incident once again raises the fundamental question as to the rights of the members of a pastorate who build churches out of their generous contributions and support the clergy and the bishop of the diocese with 60% of their contributions. There cannot be a division of the church into rulers and the ruled. It is the generous giving of the people that sustains the bishop and other entities in the administrative structure and they have no legal or moral authority to consider themselves as ‘rulers’. The ordained ministries of the church are for ‘equipping the saints’, the laity, for their ministry in the world. As the protestant tradition reminds us, they have no inerrancy and are fallible human beings who share in the sinfulness of the world. Hence, CSI only envisages a ‘constitutional episcopate’ – a bishop who functions as per the terms and references of the constitution. It is also important to note that there is no understanding of episcopal authority in the Bible but only the exhortation, “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

It is sad to note that under the leadership of bishops like Kuruvilla, the shepherding in the CSI is fast degenerating into the one that is described in Ezekiel, Ch. 34.

“The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.”

20 comments:

Cephas John said...

It is a shame on the Bishop to act immature. I think that he is mad due to his greed for money. I have come to know from a reliable source that Bishop K. P. Kuruvilla had given Rs 8,00,000/ to the then Moderator Dr Sugandhar to be consecrated.God help him to overcome his false notions on Bishopric.May God give him His wisdom to decern what is what.

Ruben Chacko said...

Dear Cephas,
I Think the information that you have received is wrong. This is a first hand information received from the Reverends who carried the money to Medak. It is 35 Lakhs and not 8 Lakhs. To generate this money he sold his flat in Trivandrum. All transactional details are available, A bit of time is required to expose this. No wonder 10 crore worth property sold for just 2.5 crore at Thalikulam (District of Trissur, Kerala), this is called recovery of Capital.
regards,

Ruben, Kerala.

Anonymous said...

protest like Kalamassery church is very much needed everywhere in our diocese. Really appreciating your firm stand againt an evil and satanic administration. Though bishopric is from above some are deprived.
Stand firm and fight for justice that is the duty of the prophetic church.

Joseph john said...

This is the right way to do it. In the video i see that Bishop is talking to someone during the procession, is this a right practice? Instead of talking like that, if the Bishop came down and had a talk with the laity, then this issue would have been solved much earlier. The diocese is in a state where Germany was ruled by Hitler(autocracy). I think the state of affairs are gonna be the same till Bishop Kuruvilla goes away or resigns. Hope, next time we laity should be extra cautious to elect a good bishop with a good track record and integrity.

Anonymous said...

Its is some of the PASTORS doing all these. They fool around the congregation for their OWN purposes. They USE the congregation for their purposes. CSI is a Company and the Pastors and Bishops are the company employees. We the congregation members are the share holders of this company. Do not fall in to the evil intentions of PASTORS and other self motive evil spirited people. we are supposed to look upon GOD and not to these kind of devils.

jeevan said...

THIS BISOP WILL GO TO ANY DESTINATION.HE IS CONTROLLED BY TWO PEOPLE ONLY.NO CONSTITUTION,NO FAITH,NO FEAR NOTHING. I WAS A GOOD SUPPORTER AND HELPED HIM A LOT TO CREATE GOOD IMAGE IN CALICUT AMONGST THE POLITICAL LEADERS,PRESS PEOPLE,SCHOOL CHILDREN ETC.I WAS IN GOOD TERMS WITH HIM FOR THE FIRST FOUR MONTHS.WHEN HE ABUSED ONE OF MY CHURCH MEMBERS(A TEACHER,CANCER PATIENT)I BECAME HIS ENEMY.AS THE SECRETARY OF PUTHIYARA CHURCH I ONLY PRAYED HIM TO CONSIDER THE CANCER PATIENT FOR A TRANSFER TO NEARBY PLACE.BECAUSE OF THE REVENGE WITH HER BROTHER HE DID NOT LISTEN TO ME.FINALLY SHE APPROACHED COURT AND SUCCEEDED. AS A RESULT OF THIS I WAS EXPELLED FROM THE CHURCH(BUT THESE GREAT FRIENDS COLLECTED CHURCH TAX FROM ME LAST YEAR ALSO.YOU SHOULD FEEL PITY ON THEM).MY WIFE WAS TRANSFERRED TO DISTANT PLACE.THE NEXT DAY COURT PREVENTED IT.THEY DID NOT OBEY.EIGHT MONTHS SHE WAS SIMPLY SITTING IN THE SCHOOL WITHOUT ANY JOB.CONTEMPT OF COURT CASE CAME.FINALLY THEY WERE COMPELLED TO OBEY THE LAWS OF THE LAND. MY MOTHER WHO WAS A PASTORATTE COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR SO MANY DECADES SUDDENTLY EXPIRED DUE TO TENSION. IT IS A HISTORY. I PERSONALLY VISITED ELAMKULAM CHURCH AND UNDERSTOOD THAT IT IS THE BEST CONGREGATION OF THE DIOCESE.I SPOKE TO MANY MEMBERS THERE.THERE IS NO CHURCH POLITICAL GROUP THERE.ALL ARE WELL EDUCATED AND CULTURED.HOW GENTLY MR.REGIE MATHEW AND MR.OMMEN JOSHUA TALK TO PEOPLE AND PRESENT THINGS.AS THE PART OF "DIVIDE AND RULE"POLICY BISHOP WAS FORCED TO INFORCE CERTAIN POWERS WHICH HO DOENT HAVE.THIS IS MY OBSERVATION.THE ELAMKULAM CONGREGATION PRAYED HIM TO FOLLOW THE NORMS WHILE TRANSFERING A PRIEST.IT IS NOT AT ALL A SIN.WE ALSO OPPOSE HIS ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES.NOTHING PERSONNEL.I UNDERSTAND THAT THE HON.COURT WAS COMPELLED TO SUMMON THE DETAILS OF THE NORMS.WHERE THESE PEOPLE ARE TAKING OUR GREAT DIOCESE? SAME PROBLEM PERSIST IN PUTHIYARA ALSO.SUSPENDED FIVE MEMBERS FROM PRIMARY MEMBERSHIP NOT AS PER THE PROVISIONS OF CONSTITUTION.STOPPED THE ENQUIRY COMMISSION TO SAVE THE PRIEST WHO IS THE REAL CULPRIT.DENIED THIER VOTING POWER.TWO YEARS COMPLETED.STILL THEY ARE ON LIFE LONG SUSPENSION,NOT PROVED CHARGES FABRICATED ON THEM TILL DATE.NO SIMILAR EXAMPLE IN ANY OF THE PROTESTANT COMMUNITIES IN INDIA. I REQUEST THE PEOPLE TO JOIN HANDS TO DE-CRIMINALISE THE DIOCESE.BLESS THE PEOPLE WORKING TO ACHIEVE THIS TARGET.

Anonymous said...

i dont think the corruption can erradicted from the system ..... as explained above the leader itself is corrupt.... we cannot change there character or there hobbies....so why wasting time..... let us start a small paryer fellowship opposite to the elamkulam church which is vacant.....and will keep the name NEW CSI CHURCH....

satyapal said...

There is a constitution for CSI this was made by the Britishers before handing over or making of the CSI. CSI is a union of protestants in south India. The constitution is the rule of the diocese and it is a serious guideline. According to the present situation, the reason why all these things happen is because, there is something that the Bishop is intending to do by violating the constitution. Or there is something wrong with the Bishop. Bishops are supposed to be messengers of peace rather than creating problems for the church.

Anonymous said...

thanks for all posts.
i have a simple question. how many of you are praying earnestly to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords for our CSI Church, its Bishops, Priests, Church Committee and most of all layman. Prayer will make changes.

David said to Saul "I will not lift my hand against my master, because he is the Lord's anointed....May the Lord judge between you and me. And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you." 1 Samuel 24:10-12.
remember the situation in which David spared Saul. he had every reason to kill Saul.

be with God and pray.

abraham mathew

Anonymous said...

i feel ashamed to be a part of this Church...
Until and unless they clear these matters the "Sheeps" will walk away.....

Jacob John said...

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. John 10:10-11. But how can a bishop behave like this, resembling almost like what a thief intends to. No one knows the hidden agenda, Hope its not tourism.

Anonymous said...

gundaa is the one who took dis photo n dis video

Aparna John said...

Its really bad to have a person as a bishop who does not care for his church members. The day when this incident happened, Rev Fenn told that no one should ask any questions to bishop. 2000 years back Jesus went into crowds and spoke to everyone like a common man. He came to rescue the world and finally sacrificed his life for the world. Here its the right opposite. I assume the people who elected this bishop is regretting at the moment. I personally hate to consider him as a bishop. He is a dirty politician, he begs for votes and behaves like a autocratic leader once into power. I would say he is a man without integrity, and i am sure i will not regret for this statement. Because i have personally seen the devil within this bishop.

Mathews, Ernakulam said...

Rev.Fenn is a business partner of this bishop, thats why he is Achan supporting bishop. if the treasurer is good no bishop cant steal like this. so the picture is clear about Fenn Achan. the same situation for Rev.Jacob John,Rev.Kurien peter, Rev.Jacob Daniel (Thrissur) and Rev.Trevor Jyothish (feroke). I cant understand how these people are doing Gospel work?!! they are doing work for Satan only. May God will keep us from these evil people.

Anonymous said...

Oh! What a shame. I am amazed by the extent CSI'ns blasphemed the name of God by all these before the gentiles. Clearly there is no Fear of God among the leaders and members. By conducting the parallel services you have shown that the how proud you are. Are you following Christ?. Don't you know that there will be a day where you have to stand before God and give accounts to all the words and deeds. Do you really think The Holy God who gave his only Son for you and Christ the judge will accept any of your reasoning. Oh! men fear God and repent before the wrath of God falls on you...Lord have mercy on CSI...

Anonymous said...

Oh! What a shame. I am amazed by the extent CSI'ns blasphemed the name of God by all these before the gentiles. Clearly there is no Fear of God among the leaders and members. By conducting the parallel services you have shown that the how proud you are. Are you following Christ?. Don't you know that there will be a day where you have to stand before God and give accounts to all the words and deeds. Do you really think The Holy God who gave his only Son for you and Christ the judge will accept any of your reasoning. Oh! men fear God and repent before the wrath of God falls on you...Lord have mercy on CSI...

Rahul John said...

Yes that is right everyone has to give an account one day. After knowing that a bishop is accused of so much of charges and he refuses to answer atleast one case against him. Then what does that mean. This is the age of Thieves wearing cassocks and after knowing that it is hard to be good in frot of them. Some may be able to do that because, they have their own reasons to be good in front of them. Its the perception that is important than a lot many things.

Manuel John said...

Sorry to say that Bishop Kuruvilla acts like a 3rd rate person. Why be an uninvited guest when the congregation opposes him. Doest he feel shame for his acts?

Anonymous said...

I saw that many children and young people sitting and standing around the people those who are protesting outside the church. What a pathetic situation..Who will be the responsible for this?...What kind of examples which are making for the young generation?..So sorry for that...
CXhristians ruthlessly crucifying christ today...we should uphold the christian way of approach...Let's remember a proverb that" CHEMMEEN THULLIYAL THOTTIYOLAM, PINNE THULLIYAL CHATTIYOLAM?!!!!!"

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