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Indian Bishop Kallarangatt irks Holy See. Ideological war with Pope Francis. Likely to step down

Indian Bishop Kallarangatt irks Holy See. Ideological war with Pope Francis. Bishop is likely to step down soon.

By Peter Pereira

Photo Credit to Public domain : Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt, the bishop of Pala, Central Kerala, India.

Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt, the bishop of Pala diocese in central Kerala, India, opened the 'Pandora's box' of communal rivalry by his erratic comments on "narcotic love jihad." His speech created a massive backlash among the catholic faithful and other religious devotees as these concepts have no factual proofs to substantiate his claims. The allegation stands against him as the Catholic bishop of Pala diocese espoused the conspiracy theories propagated by the Hindutva group of Indian politics. Hindutva is a political ideology seeking to establish the Hindu Republic in India, negating the presence of other religions in India. Hindu Nationalism is akin to political ideology to destroy the peaceful existence of multi-religious faith groups.

Bishop Kallarangatt has been criticized from all corners of the society as he fired unsubstantiated claims against the Muslims community in Kerala that Muslims are doing "narcotic jihad" to lure Catholic girls by the hidden use of the drugs. It is the second time a responsible person in the leadership of the Catholic Church abused his power and authority to mislead Indian Catholics to communal tensions and conflicts. A few months ago, bishop Kallarangatt claimed that "love jihad" initiated by the Muslim community in India to destroy the catholic women in Kerala, which was widely criticized for his flippant remarks. Then, a few months later, he declared a pregnancy package to lure the women of his diocese into giving birth to more than five children, and if they followed his suggestions, he had promised to pay a monthly incentive of $20 bucks.

Then another controversy triggered as an example of his insane moral disposition, which contradicts the teachings of the Catholic faith and Pope Francis. In his speech during a public meeting of his diocese, he proposed the ideology of narcotic jihad that sparked scathing criticism and unrest in India. He accused the Muslim community in Kerala of being involved in "narcotic jihad" to make the Catholics addicted to drugs. He added that "various types of drugs are being used in ice-cream parlours, hotels, and juice corners run by hardcore jihadis. They are using various types of drugs as a weapon to spoil non-Muslims." Bishop also claimed that the youth in Kerala were facing an unprecedented crisis due to "love jihad" and "narcotic jihad". The remarks of Bishop Kallarangatt shocked the natives of Kerala.

Bishop is in an ideological war with Pope Francis

Pope Francis is always doing his best to build bridges with other religious leaders, especially the Islamic faith. "Build bridges with those who do not believe or with those who have a different creed from ours. "Always build bridges, always reach out, no aggression." Pope's invitation stands as his motto of the papacy, and he takes this message as the linchpin of his catechesis. "Peace builds bridges, whereas hatred is the builder of walls. You must decide, in life: either I will make bridges or I will make walls. Walls divide and hatred grows: when there is division, hatred grows. Bridges unite, and when there is a bridge hatred can go away, because I can hear the other and speak with the other. When you shake the hand of a friend, of a person, you make a human bridge. You make a bridge. Instead, when you strike someone when you insult another person, you build a wall. Hatred always grows with walls." (Pope Francis' message to Youth in Poland.)

Pope stands with Peace and Peace is a tool to relate with other religions . Indian media criticizes Bishop Kallarangatt for making rift and divisions among communities and praise the leadership of Pope Francis building bridges .

"A bishop goes insane and ideologically challenge Pope Francis and his messages. It is suicidal from a bishop from India, and these irresponsible exhortations of hate and crime create irreparable damages to the Indian Christians, and he misleads his faithful and becomes scandalous to Christians. He must vacate his position as a bishop or Pope Francis must ask him to step down or demote him” 73 years old active catechism teacher Mathew Peter comments

Land deals of the diocese erupts cover up stories of financial misappropriation and swindling. Credit to Mathrubhumi news

Marred by controversies, Bishop Kallarangatt is likely to step down

Bishop Kallarangatt is likely to step down as he is disfiguring the good image of the Indian Church as his erratic criticism put the Christian community to a bargaining point of intolerance and bigotry towards other religions. It is a blatant violation of the ethos of Indian Christianity as it always strived to uphold the value of mutual respect and inclusivity while sharing the undiluted Christian values in the Indian landscape. In Kerala, the legacy of catholic bishops is always great, and Catholic bishops are accorded high respect and admiration even from non-Christians. These kinds of irresponsible comments and deliberated moves against a particular community will obviously destroy harmony and mutual respect. It is important to remember that Kerala was called by Swami Vivekananda the ‘lunatic asylum’ because Kerala was in the verge of social conflicts and destruction due to Hindu cast based society and now a bishop becomes a catalyst for this evil, told by an Indian Catholic theologian in anonymity

Pala diocese in furor

Diocese is beset with internal problems. The diocese is divided by power caucus. The internal unrest is reaching to a boiling point. Recent sale of land in the diocese in the wake of insurmountable financial struggles shattered the trust in the diocese. Moreover the hegemony with the corrupted administration of Major Archbishop and his lobby group behind the dirty games augmented the struggle. The auxiliary bishop Jacob Murikkan rendered his resignation in the synod and to Pope Francis. Rumors spread that it is due to the harassments of Bishop Kallarangattt.

It is learned from a serious source of the Catholic Church that Indian nunciature is consciously watching the current development in Kerala as BJP federal government and its Kerala members have come forth spoiling the current situations of volatile communal tensions. A potential action against the bishop from the administration of the Catholic Church is in progress. Bishop John Thottunkal of Kochi diocese was removed by Pope Benedict due to his irresponsible deeds which created storms in Kerala community. A similar action is expected to unfold in coming days.

Political parties reacted against bishop

Chief minister of Kerala Pinnarayi Vijayan said that "the problem of addiction to narcotic substances did not affect any particular religion and it is calculated move from a religious head. Religious leaders should not destroy the peace in the society".

The Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly, VD Satheesan, also condemned the bishop’s comments. In a Facebook post, the Congress leader said that community and spiritual leaders should not make statements that could hamper peace and mutual trust among people in the state.

1,915 views2 comments


Sep 14, 2021

Who ever wrote this article is a moron who neither has done his research, nor assertained the facts. It's worse than gossip. Bishop is not going to resign, nor is he going to back step. He is in line with Catholic Church and pope Francis. The author is not a journalist nor this media house.

Sep 14, 2021
Replying to

Correct. It is AMT's revelation.

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