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Vatican acts after Team Hail Mary submits petition to the PM Modi

Goa Chronicle’s story on Vatican investigations into Loyola College crimes a farce: Loyola Alumni and the subsequent submission of Clergy abuse petition by Team HailMary to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has prompted the Jesuit Curia in Rome to launch another full fledged investigation into the crimes reportedly taken place at the Madurai Jesuit Province.

In another related development, Madurai Jesuit Province has now been split into two – Madurai Jesuit Province and Chennai Province. The outcome was a result of the current Provincial Fr. Danis Ponniah SJ (2017 – Till Date) unwillingness to take responsibility for the enormous mess left behind by his predecessor Fr. Sebasti L. Raj SJ  (2011 – 2017).

Team HailMary had earlier submitted a petition to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address sexual abuse, corruption and other crimes occurring within different denominations of the Christian faith in India with specific focus on Jesuit abuse in India.

Read: No more church-investigating-church on sexual abuse complaints, demands petition

Also Read: Father Rajarathinam and Father Alphonse Aind: A shame on the Jesuit order

Speaking to GoaChronicle on the condition of anonymity, a Jesuit priest says, “Several complaints went unnoticed in spite of them being very serious in nature. The only time there was a response was when an alumni, R. Joseph Kennedy took matters in his hands and directly reported to the Jesuit Superior General in Rome. A grieving victim had also written and exposed several scandals to the Madurai Jesuit Province leadership and to the Loyola Alumni committee, but the staggering silence maintained by everyone involved shocked many of us. They should have responded and referred the matter to the ICC (Internal Complaints Committee) immediately” he said.

Handled issues badly

“When the Jesuit Curia in Rome conducted its preliminary investigations, both Loyola College, Chennai and Madurai Jesuit Province completely misled the Jesuit Curia in Rome, which is why the response from the Regional Assistant for South Asia was lukewarm and appalling” said Savio.

“The response from Fr. Lisbert D’Souza followed a playbook for concealing the truth. In August 2018, the Jesuit Superior General, released a letter calling on all Jesuits to share in the suffering of abuse victims and to help foster a culture of protection, but Fr. Lisbert D’Souza (Bombay Province, India) showed no interest whatsoever in addressing the abuse cases in India, a vile response which I had reported to the Jesuit Superior General and his Admonitor Fr. Fr. Douglas W. Marcouiller (USA). They were both warm and extremely receptive.” Kennedy states.

“Its shocking and shameful that someone from the Bombay Province in the Vatican does not want to address abuse cases in India. This is why we went to the Prime Minister with our petition. Pope Francis himself apologised to the victims for the failure of Church officials to respond and take responsibility in the case of Chile sexual abuse cases. Will Fr. Lisbert D’Souza, Regional Assistant for South Asia, apologise to the victims for his awful way of handling the Jesuit Abuse Cases in India? Will he continue to protect Fr. Alphonse Aind, Fr. Rajarathinam & Fr. Xavier Alphonse?” Savio argued.

Infighting in Jesuit leadership

According to sources in the Madurai Jesuit Province, multiple caste factions that exist within the province also proved to be detrimental.

“Many Jesuits do not get along and hardly consult each other. Fr. Francis Jayapathy (Former Rector of Loyola College) never acted on any of the grieving victims complaints but he used them to his advantage to sack the disgraced Former Principal of Loyola College, Chennai. Fr. Joseph Anthony Samy and Fr. Xavier Alphonse (an accused in a sexual harassment case). Fr. Jayapathy also used his caste advantage to extend his position to another term in-spite of several Jesuits wanting him to be sacked”, they said.

“How can a prestigious institution like Loyola College Chennai afford to have a Rector who is an alcoholic and a chain smoker” they added.

Clerical Male Domination – A voice at last

GoChronicle has accessed the complaints of one grieving victim who single handedly took the Madurai Jesuit leadership head on, resulting in high-profile transfers of several corrupt Jesuits including a Principal of Loyola College Chennai.

The complaint titled “The Current Situation in Loyola College, Chennai Terrifies Me” named the following Jesuits Fr. Xavier Alphonse, Fr. Joseph Anthony Samy, Fr. Thomas Amirtham (then Treasurer of Loyola College Chennai and Current Principal), Fr. Joseph Antony Jacob (then Admission Officer) & Fr. Francis Jayapathy (Former Rector, Loyola College Chennai.)

In this damning report she also names some alumnis who were used as proxies by the corrupt Jesuits. Mr. Suresh Adithan (professionally insolvent and an admission broker for Loyola Alumni office), Mr. Sivaram Selvakumar, a self proclaimed educationist accused in a bank fraud case. The complainant has even submitted a copy of CIBIL report and questioned the Jesuit institution as to why they hailed him, when he was clearly a fraud with several cheating cases filed against him. She goes on to question how the institution could afford to celebrate criminals but fail to recognise hard working and committed employees.

“This is not an isolated incident. Mr. Xavier Britto was raided by income tax authorities for tax fraud and ended up paying a huge tax composition but still gets installed as the “Star of Loyola” in 2018? Mr. Xavier Britto is the brother of Fr. Xavier Alphonse and an alleged benami of an established South Indian actor. A fact even tweeted by Mr. Gurumurthy (Part Time Director of RBI and Editor of Thuglaq)” said Savio.

She also slammed the Loyola Alumni Association, Secretary Mr. Balamurugan for colluding with these criminals and for being a puppet in the hands of the corrupt Jesuits.

“In a less shameless world, Mr. Balamurugan would have been sacked long time ago for his disservice to the association, his position as Secretary of Loyola Alumni Association is untenable” said Kennedy who has since then boycotted the Loyola Alumni Association for its monumental failure to act on complaints.

What followed were a series of bizarre denials and blame games. But the grieving victim had privately investigated the nexus between the corrupt Jesuits and their proxies and exposed them in a meeting held on Dec 18th, 2015. In the meeting – GoaChronicle has accessed its minutes – Fr. Joseph Anthony Samy (then Principal of Loyola College, Chennai) denied having anything to do with Mr. Sivaram Selvakumar and his nefarious activities but failed to explain his participation at a drinks get together at The Presidency Club in Chennai organised by him. The college authorities even summoned Mr. Sivaram Selvakumar but he blamed another LIBA alumni Mr. Elangovan Balasubramanian.

According to sources in the Madurai Jesuit Province,“Fr. Joseph Anthony Samy had also invited Mr. Sivaram Selvakumar and his brother K. Raghavaram (both accused in a bank fraud case) for business consultations and deals were brokered. A fact which can never be denied. It was this vital information which Fr. Francis Jayapathy used to sack Fr. Joseph Anthony Samy as the Principal of Loyola College Chennai.”

“If (all) corrupt individuals in an institution oppose someone, then mostly he or she must be doing the right thing. Why did they make Fr. Xavier Alphonse the Coordinator for Higher Education? Who will bell the cat? Rotten Jesuits indulging in all kinds of vices are rewarded instead of being probed and sacked.” Savio observed.

Loyola Alumni Association, Chennai needs new leadership?

“Loyola Alumni Association, Chennai is defunct and clearly lacks leadership. I have personally recommended to the Vatican that they dissolve the current setup and elect new-age leaders who have the courage to confront the demons of misogyny, and clerical patriarchalism.” Kennedy concluded.

Time for action and accountability

G.K. Suresh – State Secretary of TamilNadu (BJYM) and an Alumni of Loyola College Chennai, said, “It’s time for action and accountability. In the best-case scenario for the Jesuit leadership, if investigations are concluded quickly there would be little or no legal consequence; the more they delay, the investigations could lead to more allegations and trigger investigations far and wide.”

“The Catholic Church belongs to women as much as to any catholic priest. The church should speak up about women’s oppression in the church and not be complicit in silencing their voices. I’d love to take a survey and find out how many Jesuit priests even mentioned #MeToo from the pulpit. But they portrayed Bharat Mata as a victim of #MeToo” Suresh observed.

 Read: Bharat Mata is a victim of #MeToo: Chennai’s Loyola College art show in major controversy

 “I will write to the Jesuit Curia in Rome to make public report of its investigations, to avoid any outside intervention. The demand is not unusual, as it has been done by the Society of Jesus in the USA and a list of the accused Jesuit priests have been made public as of January 15, 2019. In fact, written and video apologies have been tendered to the abused survivors.” Suresh concluded.

“William Congreve, English playwright and poet had famously written that that Hell Hath No Fury Than A Woman Scorned. And the Madurai/Chennai Jesuit Province needs to give answers.” Savio concluded.

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