“Bishops Are Ruling Like Medieval Kings" – Rev Jacob Belly.

Rev. Jacob Belly has been an outspoken critic of corruption at the highest levels in the CSI. A pastor in the Coimbatore Diocese he fell foul of his Bishop Manickam Dorai for criticizing the Rt. Rev’s illegal dealings and eventually left the Diocese in 2006. Two months ago, Bishop Dorai was formally sent on leave by the CSI in the wake of serious  corruption charges and even arrested and sent to jail by the police for menacing a priest. Rev Belly has been working with like-minded pastors in Coimbatore, Madras and Tiruchi dioceses on issues of corruption and misuse of power within the church and this he does as  Secretary of  the Presbyter Council for Church Reformation. He  is also the Executive Director of the Asian Centre for Peace and Development, Coimbatore.

1) Rev Belly, how serious is the problem of corruption within the CSI church?
It is terrible.  We are afraid the CSI may collapse.

2) What is the root cause of the corruption problem in the CSI?
The corruption in the church is also the reflection of the present society where corruption has become a part of daily life.  I dot not justify this.  What is there in the society has entered into the Church in a big way. The problem is that the Church which should stand for the TRUTH has gone against the TRUTH.

3) What can be done in practical terms to reduce if not eliminate corruption in the church?
Identify the areas which nurture corruption.  There may be several areas.   But the most important  is corruption at the top level,  particularly within the “Office of the Bishop.”  This Office of the Bishop should be abolished.  This was imposed on CSI by a particular denomination in spite of several objections.  Several interpretations were given in the beginning to justify having this post.  “A Bishop is a constitutional Bishop”.  “He doesn’t have extraordinary power.” “ He will not handle any finance of the Church”.  “He will exercise his power only through committees and boards”.  Over and above all this, what was said was that the Bishop would govern the Church as “Servant”.   It was said he would follow the model of Jesus,  including washing the feet of the disciples.

But what is happening now?  Bishops are ruling like medieval Kings.  Some are like rowdies.  Now to attain that post they spend huge money.  The post of Bishop is now being bought. Bishops spend money  to win elections from the Pastorate Level to the Diocese and then to the Synod Level.  How do they get this money?  How do they repay the money?   Nobody can stop this corrupt practice.  Only way to end  this sorry and tragic situation is by abolishing the Post of the Bishop.

4) Why do you think CSI church members talk about the problem of corrupt bishops in private but few are prepared to act on the issue in public?
They are afraid of victimization.  You know the Bishops misuse their power by excommunicating members even if they speak the truth.  There is no tolerance for the voice of dissent.  Therefore people are afraid of speaking.

5) How are you trying to address the problem of corruption within the CSI?
We have a strong theological base in the church to change the structure.  Unfortunately no heed has been paid to  the Reformist in Church History.   We have to return to Jesus of Galilee.   The lay people are very good but  ignorant of several theological and historical facts.  They have been misled.   The Presbyters and the Lay leaders should  awake to the present situation.   The seminaries should come forward to stand for the truth.  We need an awakening in the “Faith Community”.  This is possible.

6) Your  writings on the internet calling for a “great change within the CSI” have resulted in personal and often unsubstantiated attacks on your integrity. What do you make of these attacks?
This is the situation.  The people in power in order to protect their misdeeds have attacked me. Any criticism against bishops is not accepted.  Rather than deal with the questions raised about the corruption of Bishops the response is to say “You Presbyter - you are no way better.” Most of these attacks against me on the internet are anonymously mounted.

"I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
-Mahatma Gandhi

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Dr. Varghese Paul said...

Fell sorry to tell, devils are ruining our church. God gives time for men to acknowledge his mistakes. Or else he will do the same that God did to save the Israelites from Egypt. Prayer is the only solution God will hear. "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil". I think this must be our church's caption from now on.

Jacob John said...

It not just the bishops to be blamed. They are just puppets we know, there are a lot many people involved in all these corruptions and they are the real part takers. Its we are to be blamed, because we don't elect good people to take care of the church administration. when wrong people are into power it is equal to destruction. please keep me updated.

shilpa said...

they preach big things in the pulpit and do all dirty things in life. how can one trust all these church heads. Mahatma Gandhi's quote seems to be best apt even after so many decades.

Sunil said...

now what are we supposed to do to throw these evil men out. by time the court cases come out. They might have passed away. a perfect example would be the Bhopal tragedy case. Next option is to give a knock on their head. I don't think that is morally right. Third option is a mass boycott. and make sure that they don't sell anymore. Stop offertories instead, give your tithe for some other good purpose. Go to church pray for them put 1 rupee coin and come back. and give the money that you were to put in the church for the needy. CSI dont want anymore building and profit making things. We need a stand still for all the property sales and the money that is flowing to the diocese and ultimately the synod.

Anonymous said...

Bishop post should be eliminated from the CSI

Unknown said...

Rev.A.Wilson Premkumar
It is horrible to know the bishops are looting money from the churches and institutions. I am working in a village pastorate. I know pretty well that how people are find it difficult to meet their day to day affairs.Out of that they are contributing to the church.I am able to see their blood shed labour in their offering.The bishop's attitude to be condemned at all levels.Now all the CSI churches have become Bishop centered not Christ centered. It is my duty to clense my church.

Anonymous said...

csi christians have to make a boundary to the bishops and their family involvement to the diocese. unless we may loose our worshiping shelters.

Anonymous said...

To become a Bishop in CSI is quite easy. Only thing you need is Indian currency and a Professor post in any of the serampore affiliated colleges. There is no parish experience required. If you a are hypocrite and a criminal minded person, chances will be more. William Carey established Serampore college for the enhancement of Christianity in India. The present system of education in serampore institutions and the corrupted faculty members will spoil the spirit of christianity.Out of 22, fifteen bishops are from UTC. Do we have atleast one Bishop as role model?.

jo said...

very pathetic to see CSi cbe diocese's current situation, good people are elected but people who are in bishop's concern and favour list are announced as won person. now its time for revival, truth war against god and satan, we need to pray well for people and Rev who are raising their voice against Bishop dorai and his fellows (direct and indirect). Let god's people win. oh people of csi cbe diocese please raise ur voice in this issue for who so ever does justic in this matter god will raise ur family and bless ur generation. praise be to god's name.

ankitha said...

what is this man doing ..........he is ruinnig the church
feel really sorry for the congregation and for all the people bearing the bishop or may be the disaster..........

Unknown said...

4) Why do you think CSI church members talk about the problem of corrupt bishops in private but few are prepared to act on the issue in public?

They are afraid of victimization. You know the Bishops misuse their power by excommunicating members even if they speak the truth. There is no tolerance for the voice of dissent. Therefore people are afraid of speaking.

I do agree with the above statement. Besides that I wish to add the following reasons for not speaking:

1. Because members themselves are corrupt. Their conscience wont allow them to speak because of their past sins.
2. Because members think that is not their job, they have no time to do such things. They have totally forgotten that it is their duty as described in the Bible.
3. Because Bishops and Pastors are ordained. It is sin to talk against them.
So what if they are ordained ?. Do you Remember what is written in the Bible ?. Though King Soul was ordained by God he was kicked off from that position by God because King Soul was gone astray from God,s way. So this is what God asks us to do here as well. There is nothing wrong in speaking about these UNGODLY men. IT IS OUR BOUNDED DUTY TO REBUKE IF OUR NEIGHBOR COMMIT SIN SO THAT THEY REPENT AND CHANGE THEMSELVES AND THE MINISTRY RUNS IN GOD's WAY.

It is quiet natural that if their misdeeds are exposed to the society they have only one weapon that is excommunicate members.

My answer is: so what ?. let them excommunicate. We will only lose CSI membership but they cannot stop you going to CSI church. You can continue to go to the church for praise and worship. If you still wish to be a member of any church there are 1000s of small churches of other denominations. You join them. That's all.

MY APPEAL: To reduce or stop corruption in CSI it is every CSI members duty to speak with other CSI member about the corruption that is going on in our CSI. Please go ahead and speak loudly and God will bless you because you are saving HIS church.

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