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Church of South India bishops lack moral courage with no fear of God

Church of South India bishops lack moral courage with no fear of God
'They again crucify to themselves the Son Of God and put Him to Open shame'

A Lenten Meditation

By Dr. Joseph G Muthuraj
Special to Virtueonline
www.virtueonline
March 30, 2018

At the time of Jesus, the temple precincts were used as a market-place where they sold cattle, sheep and doves. Jesus drove the marketing crowd out with a whip (ouch!). What was wrong with that not too indecent sale of those innocuous animals, Mr. Jesus? Perhaps the temple authorities were making a little or big money out of that business and it caused some nuisance to the worshippers! And now in the Church of South India the temple properties are turned into market commodities to effect illicit sales, and they are being sold or mortgaged by the episcopal money-changers for the purpose of enriching themselves. How much zeal should consume us to oppose this deadly activity? In the place of Jesus, the community of faith ought to experience the fire of zeal for the house of God. Shall we together use whips or should we bring bull-dozers to run them over?

The twenty first century Moderators and bishops substituted themselves for the committees that are given Constitutional authority to make decisions. The Moderators and bishops have become law unto themselves. The result is that the CSITA management is in a legal morass. With cases filed in the courts to expose its corruption and the misdeeds of the CSI administration and with the revision of the CSI Constitution which reflects the styles of authoritarian administration and addiction to power like those of Bishops Dyva and Kadasham, the CSI leadership is living in a structural damage. The bishops are stamping themselves as the lords of the dioceses and many church-goers have yielded themselves to them either willingly or grudgingly. People are afraid of consequences if they spoke or revolt against them.

CSI bishops are cruel in intent, arrogant in behaviour lacking in moral courage with no fear of God or respect for the laws of the nation. They are bent towards luxurious life and accumulating assets for the family in most possible illegal ways with the help of binami holders of their properties. Hence, only money and flattery can grab their attention. The members of the church have to even flatter the family members of the bishops to earn bishop's glance of favour towards them. Most bishops are dummies and some are given to drinking and immoral habits. Most bishops want their wives to be treated as the first lady of the church and they are awarded with heavy honorariums and salaries once they become bishops not of the people but of the Moderators. The novel episcopacy of the united church is now sold under sin!

The two bishops who are retiring this month have set a worst example as the shepherds of the church and every bishop seems to copy their unsatiated desire for power and money. Those two bishops are sadly regarded as the icons of Christian leadership today and several junior bishops and heads of institutions are putting themselves into their shoes! They are going to bring more disgrace to episcopacy and Christian servanthood!!

The most worrying thing is that the CSITA and its mismanagement are brought under the scanner, and Government legal regulators, particularly the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), are getting ready to pursue their investigations into the unlawful deeds of the Trust Association despite the CSI hierarchy using all its resources of influence through petitions at the court to stop the officials getting into the root of their fraudulent activities, let alone coming closer to them. The CSI Trust Association is a moribund company, decaying and crumbling. It is sinking but it does not allow either the Government or Court or the beneficiaries to save it from breathing its last. The National Company Law Tribunal has already issued an interim order in November 2016 removing all the CSITA members/directors and has appointed a retired judge to be the head of the new Administrative committee. This order is stayed by the Madras High Court, as a result of a petition from the CSI hierarchy. It is hoped that the stay will be vacated.

The CSI hierarchy is blocking the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) from entering church premises and institutions probing through their financial records, minute books, property sale documents etc of the last eight years. They immediately lodged suits against the Government decision to conduct inquiry on bishops and investigate their wrong-doings. A stay on the SFIO proceedings against the church were stayed by the court, as the result. The stay has now been vacated in the court on 22 February 2018 and the court has given an injunction that the Government will have to issue a fresh mandate to the SFIO to re-start its investigation in all dioceses. The faithful of the Church are waiting for the dawn of justice on criminal and corrupt activities of the bishops and the lay leaders. As Isaiah has declared, "I knew how stubborn you were; your neck muscles were iron, your forehead was bronze," there is no change foreseen in the heart and head of the CSI leaders today.

The Rev. Dr. Muthuraj, is a former member of St. John's College, Durham and a graduate of the University of Durham, UK. Through his publications, he has been established as a CSI historian who currently writes on the relationship between the united churches and the Anglican Communion. He has been one of the strongest voices in the global theological communion appealing for a renewal of Episcopacy to bring an end to the corruption in the Church of South India.

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