An open letter to the Most Rev Thomas K Oommen, Moderater of CSI

An Open Letter
to Most Rev Thomas K. Oommen, Moderator, Church of South India
on the arrest and jailing of the former CSI Moderator

Dear Moderator,

I write as a CSI member to  convey my deep anguish at the silence of the church over a very shameful  episode that has been playing out in full public view for a while and reached its crescendo this week.  As you are no doubt aware, your immediate predecessor as Moderator Bishop Govada Dyvasirvadam was arrested and jailed  a few days ago on serious charges of misappropriating hundreds of crores worth of church property. Some of the news reports  relating to this are below:

You may recall that the former moderator was arrested even in January this year and his  (and the CSI’s other) shenanigans were laid bare in this detailed article below by one of the CSI’s own ordained ministers 

Moderator, the issue that pains me is that while an office bearer of the Krishna Godavari diocese has initiated the complaint against the former moderator, the Synod and the CSITA (both of which you head) are silent about the hundreds of crores of property that has been swindled. Is it asking too much that the CSITA (which holds all property of the CSI and is currently under your leadership) take strong legal action (both civil and criminal) against the former moderator? Is it also asking too much that you suspend his pension and other benefits at least during the pendency of the legal proceedings against him?

The Editor’s Guild of India recently suspended the membership of former minister and journalist M.J. Akbar who is alleged to have misbehaved with several women colleagues more than two decades ago. Why is it that the CSI is unwilling to even suspend the pension of its former moderator and more importantly take legal action against him to recover valuable church property that has been swindled? 

 It is highly regrettable that successive moderators (as heads of the CSITA) have refused to maintain a central property register detailing all the properties of the CSI in the five southern states that are worth several lakhs of crores. Such a centralized register of properties should not only be prepared without delay but should be made public so that each CSI member is aware of the vast tracts of church property that exist in his neighborhood. This is the best insurance there is to prevent their alienation for the private gain of those in power. The excuse that preparing such a record will make unfriendly governments covet church property is not valid as governments have ways and means to get such information if they so desire.

I hope in the remaining period you have as a moderator you will take steps to create and make public a centralized property register of the CSI as also as join the legal proceedings against the former moderator to ensure valuable church property is recovered and used for the greater glory of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  I also hope you will inform the 4 million strong church membership of your actions in this regard.

Thanking you
Yours in Christ

Binu Samuel Thomas


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