Indian Church: Above the Law of the Land?

The sordid going-ons in the church where the bishops rule with an iron hand and nuns are sex toys. No bishop or padre has ever got arrested for committing rapes and murders in India, but Hindu swamis are regularly hounded by the paper tigers of the Congress.

The church is a sinister, Mafia-type organisation. In India, it operates and grows because of the extreme insularity of ordinary Hindus and their total ignorance of the history of Christianity. They have no idea what these bishops did in Europe before the Whites invented the concept of secularism to save their citizens from them. Forget about world events and history, most Hindus have no clue what is happening in other parts of India.

Sex, lies and the cloister

Sandeep B

Sister Jesme’s Amen: An Autobiography of a Nun points to the larger issue of the might of the church in India. This might is manifested in the church’s ability to evade inquiry and escape punishment

Cut to March 2008 when Swami Amritha Chaithanya alias Santosh Madhavan was arrested near Kochi. The police recovered porn CDs, tiger skins, and foreign liquor from his ashram. This was sensational news because Santosh was wanted by no less than the Interpol. A leading Malayalam weekly was lauded for its determined hunt in uncovering the disgraced godman’s true colours.

Cut further back to March 27, 1992 when a 19-year-old nun, Sister Abhaya was found drowned in a well at the St Pius convent in Kottayam. The case that was buried as a suicide resurfaced when the CBI in 2008 reported that it was actually a case of rape and murder by a padre.

Cut even further back to about three decades when in the Madatharuvi case, a Christian priest was accused of murdering his ‘girlfriend’.

This is where time starts blurring because these horrid chronicles are too numerous to track. The Christian Divine Retreat Centre is home to about 975 mysterious deaths from 1996 to 2006. Torture, psychedelic drugs, rapes, murders, and quick disposal of bodies, are some associated charges in this divine episode.

Now for some comparative consequences: Santosh Madhavan was quickly arrested and remanded to police custody, and now faces prosecution. The said weekly was congratulated for exposing yet another fraudulent Hindu godman. In direct contrast, not one person in the protracted annals of church-related crimes has been convicted till date.

Sister Jesme’s explosive new book, Amen: An Autobiography of a Nun, is merely a footnote in the vast corpus of the real, but untold horror stories that are routinely enacted inside the cloistered walls of churches worldwide. The book is currently available only in Malayalam. An English translation is expected soon. The fact that Sister Jesme waited to write this book till she quit as principal of a Catholic college in Thrissur speaks eloquently about the murky happenings in the background.

The book recounts the alleged horrors that nuns undergo behind the closed, high-walls of churches and convents, complete with first-person accounts of sexual predation, lesbianism, homosexuality, threats, violence, and sometimes murder. Sister Jesme’s media statement is quote-worthy: “When a woman is molested, sexually harassed, will she speak out? Only one out of a thousand will speak out. So think of nuns! They will never speak out. They fear that their nunhood will be lost.”

Apart from being a bare account of one nun’s claimed experiences, Amen raises urgent, grave questions about the role and ramifications of the church organisation in India. Sister Jesme’s allegations point to the larger issue of the might of the Indian church apparatus. This power has manifested itself in the church’s ability to evade punishment with impunity in every squalid episode listed earlier. We are witness to a scary repeat of the Church’s deeds at the height of its power in mediaeval Europe.

It is also a testimony to the powerful pecking order that exists in the clergy. Sister Jesme claims that a Bangalore-based “pious priest” stripped off his clothes in private and asked her to do the same. Needless to mention, her voice was drowned under the flood of authority, which pretended everything was holy in god’s house. In her words, the Church is a “formidable fortress.”

The fact that an overwhelming number of such cases emanate from Kerala is unsurprising because the State is the most powerful in the entire Christian lobby in India. The local media, police, and major sections of the establishment actively collude with the wrongdoers, remain mum, or are bullied into silence. The weekly that pursued Santosh Madhavan miraculously muted itself in the Abhaya case. The Church hasn’t issued any statement so far on Amen.

The Church gets away with such alleged offences because majority of Indians are ignorant of Christianity’s past. Their knowledge is derived mostly from candle-lightings, miracles and such ‘soft’ depictions in media, art, and movies.

The Kerala church-related activities that are now the subject of much discussion become obvious only if we have a sense of history. At its debauched worst, several medieval Popes kept concubines, organised sexual orgies, and issued political decrees simply because its power was unquestioned. This selfsame character and machinery is at work here, in Kerala. The political class in the State and nation cannot dare antagonise the Christian lobby, thanks to the almighty vote-bank.

It remains to be seen what happens to Sister Jesme. An obvious first step might be a state-imposed ban on Amen.



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7 responses to “Indian Church: Above the Law of the Land?

  1. JGN

    Kalakkaththu Kunchan Nambiar(1705-1770) , master of satirist poetry, had written “udara nimittam bahukrita vesham” (roughly translated into English as “People enact different kinds of dramas due to stomach”. The peddlers of faith (irrespective of religion) knows very well that they are just fooling the masses. Though the omissions and commissions of the Churches are deplorable, there is no need to get outraged when actions are taken against our “man/woman gods”!

    I had read Dr. Jesme’s book (Amen). Much of what she has written are open secrets in Kerala for the past many years. About 30 years back a Christian girl had told me her uncle’s sarcastic remark (if you want to give delivery to babies, you can jolly well do so in our home itself) when she expressed her desire to become a Nun.

  2. VoP

    Should we ban foreign funding of religious institutions?

  3. Sandeep S

    An extraordinary meeting of the Kozhikode Bar Association on Friday passed a resolution against Supreme Court Judge Justice Cyriac Joseph for visiting the Forensic Sciences Laboratory in Bangalore and examining the narco analysis tapes of the accused in the sensational Sister Abhaya murder case

    The resolution also pointed to media reports about a speech the judge made at a recent meeting of the clergy where he said: “For me, my religion and religious head are more important than my position as a judge.’’

    The resolution said: “Justice Cyriac Joseph, who belongs to the same religious order as that of Sister Abhaya and the accused (Fr Thomas M Kottoor, Fr Jose Puthrukayil and Sister Sephy), should not have given room for such a report. The Constitution of India envisages an independent judiciary, which dispenses justice without fear or favour. Needless to say that the judiciary should not only be independent, impartial and unbiased but also should appear to be so without giving any room for suspicion. The conduct of the judge is a blemish on the judiciary, and it has pushed it into the penumbra of suspicion.’’

    The Kerala High Court Advocates’ Association had also moved a resolution against the judge. However, it was dismissed as majority of the advocates opposed it, saying it was not legally maintainable.

    It was the former FSL assistant director, Dr S Malini, who told the CBI that the judge had visited the laboratory on May 23 last year. It was a private visit. Besides viewing the video tapes of the narco analysis tests conducted on the three accused, he also viewed the test done on an accused in a terror case. The judge also lauded the work done by the lab. His visit was entered in the visitors’ book.

  4. VoP

    Christianity will be driven to extinction in 9 countries in Europe and North America. Anything concocted by human mind, anything not based on the solid bedrock of truth cannot survive.

    Organized religion will all but vanish eventually from nine Western-style democracies, a team of mathematicians predict in a new paper based on census data stretching back 100 years.

    It won’t die out completely, but “religion will be driven toward extinction” in countries including Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands, they say.

    It will also wither away in Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland and Switzerland, they anticipate.

  5. VoP

    Can any religion be so full of shit!?

    “World is coming to an end, so follow us to Bethlehem”

    William Dias, Santa D’Souza, Alphonso Dabre, Simon John D’Souza and Solomon Shinde, all parish priests, were arrested on Thursday from Devkhop, around 11 km from Mumbai.

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