Archbishop seeks to halt erection of Fr Chasara's statue within a month of death


From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network - Bengaluru

Bengaluru, Apr 19: Plans for erection of the statue of pro-Kannada protagonist priest, late Fr Chowrappa Selvaraj, was widely known as Fr Chasara and one of the six priests charge-sheeted in the gruesome murder of the then Rector of St Peter’s Pontifical Seminary Fr K J Thomas on April 1, 2013, are sought to be halted by Archbishop of Bangalore Dr Bernard Moras.

It may be recalled that the 61-year-old Fr Chasara died in Bengaluru on March 15 and his funeral was held as per the wish of the deceased priest and his family members at St Joseph’s Church at Briand Square in Chamarajpet on March 17.

As per handbills purportedly printed by the villagers of VishwanathaNagenahalli and also notices posted in the social media, a statue of Fr Chasara is scheduled to be unveiled at the premises of St Paul the Hermit Church in RT Nagar in the city on Sunday, April 24, at 11 am.


Other accused priests, lay persons involved

The handbill, a copy of which is available with Daijiworld, Fr A Thomas, who is also accused and charge-sheeted in the murder of Fr K J Thomas and is the President of Karnataka Catholic Dharmagurugala Balaga, will be offering the mass on the same Sunday in the St Paul the Hermit Church at 9.30 am prior to the unveiling of the statue.

Four other priests – Fr I Anthappa, who is also accused and charge-sheeted in the murder of the then Rector three years ago, Fr T S Amrutharaj (both of whom residing at the Clergy Home of Archbishop’s House), Fr J Rayappa of Mysore Diocese and Fr Vincent Santhosh, Parish Priest of St Paul the Hermit Church – will be invoking blessings.

Noted Kannada writer Dr Siddhalingayya’s name has been mentioned for unveiling the statue while Karnataka Rakshana Vedike chief T A Narayana Gowda is scheduled to preside over the function.

Two other accused and charge-sheeted persons in the murder of Fr K J Thomas – Rita Rini, Editor of Maatukate, and Raphael Raj, General Secretary of Akhila Karnataka Catholic Kristhara Kannada Sangha, as well as Dr BanjagereJayaprakash, Kannada Book Authority chairman, V C Channegowda, Secretary, Kannada Sahitya Parishat, Pravindutt Stephen, film music director, R N Chandrashekar, writer, Chinnaraju, social worker, and Parvateesh Bilidale, Editor of Sanket, are billed as the chief guests.


Archbishop confirms but declines to share details

It is learnt that the Archbishop has officially written to the Bengaluru City Police Commissioner N S Megharik regarding the plans for installing a statue of late Fr Chasara in the campus of St Paul the Hermit Church in Nagenahalli and has made it clear that "such installation is prohibited both in the church and in the church compound as per the Code of Canon Law" and hence "the plan of installation is contrary to Canon Law and cannot be permitted under any circumstances now or in the future."

The Archbishop, in his letter to the City Police Commissioner, has also stated that he has "already instructed Fr Vincent Santhosh, the Parish Priest of St Paul the Hermit Church, and others concerned that this proposed installation is contrary to the Code of Canon Law and cannot be allowed at any cost" and has also requested the City Police Commissioner "to take suitable actions and to give protection to Fr Vincent Santhosh and to the church property."

When Daijiworld contacted the Archbishop, he merely stated that he has taken all necessary steps as head of the Archdiocese and also as per the Code of Canon Law. While declining to share the contents or copies of the letters, he said the matter could be independently verified as has already consulted several key persons, including all members of the College of Consulters of the Archdiocese.


Canon Law violation not permitted

One of the prominent members of the College of Consulters also confirmed the information and mentioned that Canon 1187 of the Code of Canon Law, which governs the functioning the Roman Catholic Church all over the world, clearly "prohibits installation of a statue or image of any person, who is not duly beatified or canonised" in the church or the church premises.

The member of the College of Consulter, who did not wish to be identified, said the Archbishop has issued a stern warning to any of the priests or lay persons attempting to install the statue in violation of the "Decree of Canonical Warning" holding out the threat to "close down the church till the damage has been rectified and impose further sanctions" against all the offenders as per the Canon Law provisions.

The Archbishop has reportedly asked the priests to "reply to the notice to acknowledge receipt and report compliance with the directions," the College of Consulter member disclosed.

Another priest told Daijiworld that the decision and actions initiated by Archbishop Moras were commendable and a lesson for Dioceses not only in Karnataka but outside too as erection of the statue of any person – either priest, religious sister, brother or lay person – in the church or its premises was likely to lead to public worship, homage, prayers, lighting of candles or offering flowers etc unless such persons have been officially raised to the status for veneration as Servants of God or those who have been beatified or canonised. Once a precedent is set up in any one church, it could lead to similar acts and would be very harmful, the priest said.

It is understood that similar Decrees of Canonical Warning have been issued by the Archbishop to Fr A Thomas, Parish Priest of KristhaKarunalaya Church in Jaraganahalli on Kanakapura Main Road in the City, Fr I Anthappa and Fr T S Amrutharaj at the Clergy Home of Archbishop’s House campus, and also Fr J Rayappa, Parish Priest of St Francis Xavier’s Church in Mysore, with a copy of the letter to the Bishop of Mysore Diocese.

Meanwhile, what happens on Sunday, April 24, or later, remains to be seen.

 

Comment on this article

  • Mervyn, Bangalore

    Fri, Apr 22 2016

    Question to ask ourselves, are we serving God and His kingdom? Or are we working for our own kingdoms? Has the message and event of the Pentecost been forgotten where spoke in different tongues and miracles happend? Love is the supreme language that needs its place in our diocese, everything else is taking its place. God bless the arch bishop and enlighten the others with His light.Sad to see Holy Catholic church being disgraced like this in front of the world, no wonder Catholic church is declining fighting with itself rather harvesting the ripe fields. Bride of Christ is weeping and Christ is being hurt, nobody cares about him anymore. Mother of grace pray for us.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • sam, world

    Fri, Apr 22 2016

    @Mervyn, Bangalore
    - Catholic Church is in this state because of the fruits of Modernism/Liberalism that arose from Council Vatican II
    - Pray to Our Lord and Our Lady

    DisAgree [1] Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • b k rao, mangluru

    Fri, Apr 22 2016

    Fr Chasara was a father figure for the minority kannada speaking christians. Christ stood for the meek and left-out. What is the issue in supporting minority kannadiga christians?

    He was a man of letters and devotional musician. Translated bible into kannada and wrote book in kannada on history of christianity. He deserves commemoration by the church.

    DisAgree [10] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Prashanth, Hassan

    Thu, Apr 21 2016

    It is very shocking to see Archbishop's letter asking to stop the erection of Fr. Chasara's Statue. Rev. Bishop where was your law when you erected the statue to Fr. Briand? How canon law allowed you to do the same? Did pope sent a personal message to you to do that?
    Truly to say archbishop is acting like King Tuglak who was changing the law according to his comfort. Catholics raise your voice against this kind of attitude of our Archbishop.

    DisAgree [12] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • John Tauro, M'luru / Kwt

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    There’s nothing wrong in erecting statutes, painting portraits or displaying photographs of church or other dignitaries as long as there are no acts of worship involved. A statue may be erected as a memorial or as a mark of respect to a human being and not as an object of veneration.

    DisAgree [8] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Gracy, Bangalore

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    All of us understand the difference between worshipping and respecting. For the kind of human father was he needs to remembered at all times. His contribution to Kannada Christianity has been immense. I did not see anybody so simple and down to earth.

    DisAgree [19] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • George, Bangalore

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    Well..I personally being a lover of chasara's devotional music and writings and his humane nature, we need to commemorate him. Erection of statue within church if it is against the canon law, naganahalli laity should do this may be on a prominent location of the town. It's a common man's wish.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • A.swamy, Bangalore

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    Are there two canon laws ? There are a number of statues and tombs in the premises of all over the country. Would our archbishop apply the same to all these. I really do not know. A shepherd has to make sure that his flock is not shown wrong examples. If somebody wants express his thanks by erection,so let it be.after all, it is by the people, for the people and to the people.

    DisAgree [13] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alice, Bangalore

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    Great work by the Archbishop. Going by this rule of Cannon Law, Parish Priests of many churches will have to remove the framed photos of the Archbishop in their offices which are inside the Church compound. Great selfless action by the Archbishop.

    DisAgree [16] Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • Unconcerned Catholic, India

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    Alice, In your house, do you any picture of your parents....hanging on the wall?

    DisAgree [4] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alice, Bangalore

    Fri, Apr 22 2016

    Yes. why? does any new law by the Bishop say, we are supposed to remove that too ???

    DisAgree [1] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • shuba, mumbai

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    Unwanted publicity sought by kannadiga priests and their followers this is not Christianity. In fact if these were real Christians they would have perhaps thought of a statue of Fr K J Thomas who was innocent and they murdered him. Only Almighty can forgive them

    DisAgree [14] Agree [39] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lily, Bangalore

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    Well done Archbishop Moras. God almighty give you good health & bless you for teaching us to respect all languages in Karnataka. Hope all concerned priests will understand Cannon Law and stop doing wrong things.

    DisAgree [13] Agree [29] Reply Report Abuse

  • D.Shetty, Mangalore

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    Good no modi wave here..wondering if Mr.Modi or BJP halted this

    DisAgree [38] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Valerian D'souza, Udupi / Mumbai

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    Your own comment reiterates that we don't drag somebody's name,
    Unless there is direct or indirect involvement or
    Unless the person's authority is morally or legally responsible for the same.
    We say the person is wrong, even if they belong to us, so as not to expect moral support even.

    DisAgree [9] Agree [35] Reply Report Abuse

  • Selvaraj , banglore

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    Praise the lord already Fr.barthalomiya statute is there what Canon law allow for that and why Bishop not speaking about that
    I think the Bishop misusing our Catholic law

    DisAgree [19] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Valerian D Souza, Udupi / Mumbai

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    Hi,
    I am not Cannon Law expert.
    From the little knowledge that I have is shared herewith.
    Beatification or canonization is done by supreme universal council.
    Statue of beatified is only allowed in the Church.
    Bishop is not authority to beatify or canonize,
    But just as a Trustee to administer what is permitted by Supreme authority.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [23] Report Abuse

  • George, Mangalore

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    One simple question:
    Do we not need Our state language Kannada to be honored and given due respect and given priority?

    DisAgree [14] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    When we all claim there is one God.
    Where do these Pro Kannada Priests FIT ...

    DisAgree [18] Agree [38] Reply Report Abuse

  • jb, mlore

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    most of them being converts they would not realise which statue to pray since for them any statue will be god.

    DisAgree [15] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Philomenraj Williams, Mysuru

    Fri, Jun 24 2016

    Sir, are you Jew to be a original Christian?

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • krish, Dubai

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    "widely known as Fr Chasara and one of the six priests charge-sheeted in the gruesome murder of the then Rector of St Peter’s Pontifical Seminary Fr K J Thomas"

    ye kaunsa "FEKU" hai?

    DisAgree [8] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Valerian D'souza, Udupi / Mumbai

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    Very Sad,Language was more important, that too for Priest's, Than these 2 most important commandments to Christians.
    i.Love God from all your heart mind and soul.
    ii. Love your neighbor as yourself.
    They got trapped in crime because language has became idol, their priority over God. How can they obey and serve God and people?

    DisAgree [10] Agree [43] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rita, Germany

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    I ask myself,why should Archbishop want to erect or install a statue of a priest when so much tumult around is?what does it bring?who suggested it ?Better to wait for time being and later can be done.

    DisAgree [46] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Valerian D'souza, Udupi / Mumbai

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    Mam, please read the article and understand before commenting!
    Bishop said to Police commissioner that:
    Our Canon Law clearly "prohibits installation of a statue or image of any person, who is not duly beatified or canonized" in the church or the church premises.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [62] Reply Report Abuse

  • George, mangalore

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    Good joke of the year

    DisAgree [4] Agree [30] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lancy, Loretto/bangalore

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    Rita what happened to you? Read the article again please

    DisAgree Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • AMAR NATHAL, MANGALORE

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    People understand that even if erection of Fr Chasara's statue is done it is not the same as elevating him to be saint!

    DisAgree [9] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dev Kumar, Ranganpalke/Kawdoor District/Karkala

    Tue, Apr 19 2016

    Priests forsake all worldy pleasures and only serve for the people. All priests intention should remain the same as they surrender to the god. How misery n jealous appears it lead to murder of Archbishop...even though they belong to any other dioceses.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [45] Reply Report Abuse

  • V V , BAJPE/BAHRAIN

    Tue, Apr 19 2016

    JESUS PLEASE FORGIVE US
    FACTIONS DIVISIONS AMONG US
    FEEL SAD TO SAY WE ARE CHRISTIANS

    DisAgree [13] Agree [53] Reply Report Abuse

  • sam, world

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    @V V , BAJPE/BAHRAIN
    - These are the fruits of Modernism/Liberalism that arose from Council Vatican II
    - Pray to Our Lord and Our Lady

    DisAgree [12] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Valerian D Souza, Udupi / Mumbai

    Wed, Apr 20 2016

    I think you are ill informed.
    We pray to heavenly father,
    We pray through his only begotten son, our Lord Jesus Christ's name.
    We ask Mother Mary to intercede for us.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • sam, world

    Thu, Apr 21 2016

    @Valerian D Souza, Udupi / Mumbai
    - Dear Sir, please read the encyclicals of St. Pope Pius X
    - All your ill information will soon begin to unravel
    - In Jesu et Maria

    DisAgree Agree Report Abuse

  • Valerian D'souza, Udupi / Mumbai

    Thu, Apr 21 2016

    Dear Sam,
    That book may not be the only one. In this universe there are several books written by and fascinated by so many.
    Please don't be disheartened by so many things around us.
    There is a Bible for us.
    If you truly follow and believe, in all times make genuine efforts to follow Christ's last teachings:- That you must love God and love one another as I have loved you, by this all will know that you belongs to me. This might benefit you and humanity. Regards Brother!

    DisAgree Agree [9] Report Abuse

  • sam, world

    Thu, Apr 21 2016

    @Valerian D'souza, Udupi / Mumbai
    - Can other books lead you to salvation?
    - Can a book inspired by the Holy Sprit lead you to damnation?
    - Yes we have to follow Our Lord’s teachings, but we also have a duty to inform and correct error such as the Council Vatican II.
    - Pray to Our Lord and Our Lady

    DisAgree Agree Report Abuse

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Title : Archbishop seeks to halt erection of Fr Chasara's statue within a month of death


 
 
 
 

 
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