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Pope is the appellate authority to take action on clergy: Cardinal to HC

Kochi: In a shocking defence to the ongoing case against Syro-Malabar Catholic Church Cardinal Mar George Alencherry over illegal land dealings, legal counsel for the accused senior clergyman told the Kerala High Court that as per the Canon law, the Pope is the appellate authority to take action against a cardinal.

The counsel for Cardinal Alencherry stated, “That despite a few petitions against this land deal and the demand for a detailed probe into it being raised with the Vatican, no action has been initiated by the Pope against the cardinal.”

The Kerala High Court took a very strong view to the Cardinal counsel’s defence on the case, retorting, “It is strange to hear that the law of the land is not applicable to the Cardinal.”

The Ernakulam archdiocese in 2016 sold a three-acre piece of land in Kochi to repay a Rs 60 crore bank loan it had earlier taken to construct a medical college. The agent appointed by the church to facilitate the deal had estimated the value of the land at Rs 27.30 crore, but priests and local people claimed that the property’s real value was at least Rs 80 crore.

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