The unholy secrets and not-so-divine divinity of the church..

This is an overdue post that was waiting for salvation,in my drafts.Something was stopping me from posting this.Call me a pseudosecularist or whatever.But I would not have felt this if it was about my faith or if about musilms.If it were so,I would have been the first to write on this.But having been associated with nuns for over 10 years ( I did my schooling in a convent) and moreover,I feel ashamed that it happened in my so-called enlightened state and above all,fear of trolls ( Bcoz by now,I am familiar with Hindu trolls and Muslims trolls,but never encountered this type ) ..And most importantly,only a keralite can understand my dilemma,the enviornment in the state,where priests and nuns are seen with atmost respect by people from all walks of life.But oh yeah,now I have been inspired by Indyeah’s  post and as she says,it amazes me too that nobody is speaking about this. And now I now what the hell this pseudosecularism is..

 

Yes,I am talking about Sister Jesme’s autobiography,Amen,where she talks about the sexual exploitation of nuns in the church by priests..and about the problems of homosexuality and hetrosexuality among those working in the church.

 

Honestly speaking,this news was not ‘so surprising and shocking’ to me as I am yet to get over the hangover from the ongoing Sister Abhaya murder case– a Roman Catholic nun, who was found dead in a water well in St Pius X convent in Kottayam, India, on 27 March 1992.

 

She was 19 years old at the time of her death and was a member of St. Joseph’s Congregation for women under the Knanaya Catholic diocese of Kottayam, Kerala in India.. On the fateful day she had got up from sleep early at around 4 am to study for her exam, had gone down to the kitchen of the hostel to get water from the fridge. Later her body was found in the well outside the kitchen in the convent/hostel compound.

 

It has been investigated and reinvestigated by various police agencies of Kerala and various teams within Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI-India) for 16 long years. On Dec 02, 2008 and on December 29, 2008, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), made a statement before P.D. Soman, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ernakulam. According to CBI, their brain-mapping and narco analysis investigations revealed that Sister Abhaya woke up on March 27, 1992, early in the morning, descended the staircase and went to the hostel kitchen for taking drinking water from the fridge. Sr Sefi hit Abhaya with an axe (‘kodali’) thrice on the back of the head, near the right ear and on the head. She then collapsed. Thinking that Abhaya was dead, Fr. Thomas Kottoor, and Fr. Jose Poothrikkayil, assisted by Sr. Sephy, lifted Sr Abhaya’s body, took it out of the kitchen and dumped in a well behind the building.

 

On Dec 02, 2008 and on December 29, 2008, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), made a statement before P.D. Soman, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ernakulam. According to CBI, their brain-mapping and narco analysis investigations revealed that Sister Abhaya woke up on March 27, 1992, early in the morning, descended the staircase and went to the hostel kitchen for taking drinking water from the fridge. Sr Sefi hit Abhaya with an axe (‘kodali’) thrice on the back of the head, near the right ear and on the head. She then collapsed. Thinking that Abhaya was dead, Fr. Thomas Kottoor, and Fr. Jose Poothrikkayil, assisted by Sr. Sephy, lifted Sr Abhaya’s body, took it out of the kitchen and dumped in a well behind the building.

 

There are infinite murders remaining unsolved but I am glad that judiciary has been consistent on pestering the CBI to bring out the truth,that too for 16 long years-a timeline that underlines the undercurrent pressure to wipe off the truth,not to talk about the money involved in suppressing the truth and mop it down under the carpets. Read more here..

 

I went off track,but I really wanted to write on Sister Abhaya case,but didn’t.

 

Sister Jesme’s relevations are not really shocking,infact there has been many a reports on how rotten some systems within the church are.Recalling the Muringoor Retreat investigation that was drowned in deep sea..

 

The Divine Retreat Centre in Kerala’s Muringoor’s claim to fame is that it is the largest Catholic healing centre in the world. However, there is a catch. More than 975 mysterious deaths have happened in the centre – that Kerala Police is now investigating – and there have been allegations of rape and murder. The case is registered under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 342 (wrongful confinement) 324 voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 328 (causing hurt by poison etc with intent to commit an offence, 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code.The other offences alleged include the conducting of a psychiatric institution without licence, administration of psychiatric drugs on several persons (15 persons are still at the centre).

 

The FIR also said the institution collected money by conducting religious functions and mentally hurt those who are opposed to the functioning of the institution.During 1996-2006, as many as 974 premature deaths occurred at the centre, and bodies were cremated without providing information to the police.The documents were allegedly forged to make it appear that the deaths were natural.Several persons are locked in cells. Persons showing violent signs are injected with some unknown drugs.Treatment is imparted by untrained persons. There are no medical practitioners at the centre.The investigation had been ordered by the High Court on the basis of the allegations contained in an anonymous letter.It was alleged that Fr Mathew Thadathil had made an inmate pregnant and she delivered a child. Celin Lopez of Alappuzha allegedly went missing from the centre.IAS and IPS officials were allegedly extending illegal assistance to the centre which allegedly was receiving foreign funds.

 

The center draws around 10,000 people for its weekly retreats, conducted in seven languages. It has served more than 10 million people from all over the world since 1990.

 

 

Congress and K.M Mani were the happiest people in this world,when SC asked the state government to stop the investigation.So much of people in the circle uh?

 

These are the two instances ,of great importance,that I can recall now.There are infinte such instances ,like the muder of a 24 years old nun,Aupa Mary..

 

Pappachan, a cook who works at the Bishop’s house at Kollam, alleged that his daughter Anupa Mary, a nun at the St Mary’s Convent at Kollam, committed suicide Monday after she was made to do all the chores in the convent and was sexually harassed by the head of the convent.[…]

Treesa Thomas, who has been a nun for the last 43 years, was forcibly admitted to the hospital to prevent her from spilling the beans on “illicit affairs between priests and sisters” and to make her statements look silly. It also claimed that a nun, who was unable to bear the torment, had ended her life in the convent sometime back.[….]  

That goes on and on and on..This is no way an attempt to tarnish the good will or underplay the good deeds that they did in our society .Girls like me and millions others got chances of good education because of them. They have done lot of social service,but that should not stop us  from calling spade a spade.My humble opinion is that it is high time that the structure of Church is reorganized-and the concentration of power is put to a stop.Also,it seems that people join seminary ,not for social service,but for associated power and authority.Kerala women’s commission has a proposal of minimum age of girls (18 yrs) to join seminary.

 

The Commission’s three recommendations to the state Government, after it received a complaint of exploitation faced by nuns inside the church, were: fix 18 years as the minimum age for enrolment as nuns and initiate legal action against parents who send underaged daughters to nunneries; protect the family wealth and property of girls who join nunneries and discourage the practice of donating property to the congregations they join; and formulate rehabilitation packages for nuns who quit or retire from the vocation.

 

“It’s the first time the government or the civil society has at least recognised the miseries faced by the nuns who are voiceless in the church,” says a nun. “A nun’s life is miserable. They are helpless when they are made to join the church. They are helpless if they leave the church as they would have no means to sustain their lives,” says Joseph Pulikkunnel, noted theologian and head of Osaana, a Christian reform movement.[…]

 

 

 There are priests and nuns who live in luxury, frequent foreign lands and misuse the power and social good will..At the same time, there are priests and nuns who serve the poor and needy,the orphans, the slum people and all those needy people. But as in the case with any organized religion,the few rotten shadow the good deeds of the majority.

 

This issue assumes special significance in Kerala because the state has the country’s largest Christian population of seven million which constitutes 22 per cent of its total population. More importantly, over 75 per cent of the priests and nuns in India who belong to different churches and congregations hail from Kerala. I hope the Church stands up against these anti-divine elements in them, rather than just turning a blind eye..It is easy to brand them mental patients and try to fool the world.. Act wise before the few rotten apples spoil the whole basket.

 

 

 

P.s:Read outlook’s interview with Sister Jesme –10 Questions  

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  1. ”Q-Should priests and nuns give up celibacy?

    Ans-Celibacy is laudable but very difficult. Let priests and nuns have the freedom to marry.

    Q-Is there parental coercion behind girls enrolling in convents?
    Ans-Not much. But from childhood, we are brainwashed into believing that becoming a priest or nun is the best that one can aspire for.”

    Q-What ails Christian institutions?

    Ans-Those who want to misuse the church can go to any extent. Lust for money breeds all other forms of lust for which you will even kill, as evident in the case of Sister Abhaya (allegedly murdered for witnessing sex in a convent)”.

    Questions posed to sister Jesme in the Outlook interview and her answers….

    The answers say a lot dont they?

    I am really glad that you did this post Nimmy..and completely understand when you say ,”But I would not have felt this if it was about my faith or if about musilms.If it were so,I would have been the first to write on this.”

    I too feel the same…I am comfortable discussing Hinduism and its evils but I do not understand the ABC’s of other religions…
    that is why I come to your posts to read more on Islam…

    The sad and really worrying part is the reluctance or refusal on the part of bloggers who are christian or even others who probably understand this issue best…. to write this…

    Doesnt this incident deserve immediate reporting?An outright condemnation?

    And we say we are a vibrant community of bloggers!what a joke!we only pick certain issues!How come no one from the Christian faith has riased this issue?How come you and I two people who have no idea are raising it?And even the other links that OG gave are not of this faith..

    to be absolutley honest,I do see a tendency in India atleast to always gun for two religions only…Hinduism and Islam…

    train your guns on these two by all means but please enlighten us on other religions too..

    I find it hard to believe that people who have ample time to bash up Hinduism,Islam and what not ,do not have time to hold a mirror to Christianity(or Buddhism or Jainism for that matter)

    ANd you know Nimmy in the mainstream media even Islam is treated with kid gloves…Hinduism becomes the sole punching bag…

    This is the pseudo secularism I dislike ,infact abhorr…
    this is not even secularism…

    and while punching Hinduism is all fine by me…because atleast that will ensure that the goons and extremists in Hinduism are kept inline ..but the other religions or rather their followers like in this case are not even ready to acknowledge this issue in public…

    I ,you,Solilo and others are so wary of criticing another religion that we have no idea of…while others have no such complusion…

    ———————————–

    Bravo Indyeah,you speak my mind..And it is very true that manu small things by hindus are blown out of proportion,while cases like these are so easily put under the carpet.and to a certain degree,I completely empathize with them.But Indyeah,haven’t you read about reports when media celebrates the marriage of a kid and a gandpa,in a village deep down in some unknown village in some islamic countries? by celebrating such news,they are shaming all other muslims,who ahve no idea of all that stuff.. I would say that both muslims and hindus are sidelined,and I am not yet sure of how to make comments about Christian-lobby,as i never bothered to read about them..I hope its not the same old stroy of fox enjoying two goats bullying each others and finally dying..

    Now i am waiting to hear such comments as “Don’t judge a whole community by the actions of a few people’ **rolls eyes*** ..

    and finally,only sane people have the reluctance to rant about others religion,of which they have no little idea..this world is filled with the people from other group than us..-Nimmy

    • oh absolutely Nimmy!Islam is a target too..in India for sure..Hindus and Muslims are portrayed as arch rivals..enemies baying for each others blood….so both are equally made out to be the villains….and Muslims in India ARE discrimninated against…as are so many others all in the name of religion/caste/ and rubbish…

      and agree about the media portraying certain specific cases as if they represent a whole religion…

      Nimmy the worrying thing today is that not just in India (here it is Hinuism and Islam that is bashed)
      but in the world too Islam has become the faocal point ..everything revolvces around the topic of Islam…as if other religions are just spectators…

      ”Don’t judge a whole community by the actions of a few people’ ”rolls eyes…

      LOL!yeah wait for a few moments you will get those ones too 😀

  2. when I talk of supporting anytrhing remotely Hindu or even Islam(yes I have had this experience when I stood up for a muslim friend)I am branded as someone who has an agenda…

    A friend questions and laments as to what is happening in the north east in India and he is branded a fundamentalist…

    Are we not allowed to have an opinion at all…even when we also unequivically condemn all that is evil in our religions??I, as all of us have posts galore on the evils of our religions….a cursory glnace at the archives will tell anyone that….but why this reluctnace by othrs to do the same?

    My only worry is that at the end of the day India is a multireligious multicultural country…

    this bashing up of one or at the most two religions and branding them as either the bhagwa(saffron)goondas in one brushstroke or as Muslim terrorists is going to be really damaging to India in the long run…because a resentment will build up that will be difficult to handle..

    while certain religions would rather be portrayed as the victims forever…I accept that they are…when the Staines family is burnt,when a nun is raped yes it is horrific,horrendous and beyond that…it is against all that Humanity stands for…..

    and the mainstream media as well as the ordinary Indians have been vocal in condemning such acts…

    but isnt it equally important that the followers of these faiths also speak up about the evils in their faith?

    or is it that they have no evils?

    In the long run,this selective amnesia and blind refusal to accept or confront realities harsh as they are will end up damaging these faiths themselves and will eat it up from inside…

    • Nimmy
    • March 7th, 2009

    I am going out for a few hours ,so I will not be able to reply to your comments..Hope to catch you all soon.bye.Good day

    • enjoy((hugs)):)

      • btw on a totally different track Nimmy 🙂
        why does my avataar/pic here look so scary? 😀
        like I am ready to gobble someone up? 😀
        an evil maniacal grin comes to mind when I see it 😀

          • Nimmy
          • March 8th, 2009

          ROFL..loll…dear,this image is computer generated,I guess based on IP 🙂 lol…When i go other blogs and comment,I get a grin frustrated face 😦 It remains the same for ever 😦 I hate that stupid depressing smiley 😦 There isn’t anything i can do 🙂

          • Go to
            http://en.gravatar.com/site/signup
            follow directions, you can have any picture you want. It’s linked to you email address and will show anywhere you post. 🙂
            —————————-

            thanks Uzza..I did it !!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 -Nimmy

  3. You and Indyeah have had a great discussion. As Indyeah said, “In the long run,this selective amnesia and blind refusal to accept or confront realities harsh as they are will end up damaging these faiths themselves and will eat it up from inside…”

    The Catholic church is the only church which does not allow the Priests to get married. Homosexuality and secret sex adventures have cursed the congregation. Even the innocent altar boys have not been spared. This is no surprise! How can human beings live without their most natural instict to coopulate? The Roman catholic church has paid millions away to hush these matters but at what cost? Most of the Nuns join the congregation to ease away the fear of dowry based marriages and once in, there is usually no turning back though the church allows them to disown their status and enter holy matrimony.

    I’m glad that you have put up this post. I’m yet to read Indyeah’s post and will do that now..

    Keep Blogging!

  4. Quotes that hold true for ALL religions

    ”It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it. ~G.K. Chesterton”

    ”Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned.” ~Author Unknown

    ”You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do. ~Anne Lamott

    ”Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion – several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother’s path to happiness and heaven. ” ~Mark Twain

    ”The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by ‘God’ one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying… it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity.” ~Carl Sagan

    ”I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said ‘Stop! don’t do it!’ ‘Why shouldn’t I?’ he said. I said, ‘Well, there’s so much to live for!’ He said, ‘Like what?’ I said, ‘Well…are you religious or atheist?’ He said, ‘Religious.’ I said, ‘Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?’ He said, ‘Christian.’ I said, ‘Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?’ He said, ‘Protestant.’ I said, ‘Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?’ He said, ‘Baptist!’ I said, ‘Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist church of god or Baptist church of the lord?’ He said, ‘Baptist church of god!’ I said, ‘Me too! Are you original Baptist church of god, or are you reformed Baptist church of god?’ He said, ‘Reformed Baptist church of god!’ I said, ‘Me too! Are you reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1879, or reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1915?’ He said, ‘Reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1915!’ I said, ‘Die, heretic scum,’ and pushed him off. ” ~Emo Phillips

    ”There is a story, which is fairly well known, about when the missionaries came to Africa. They had the Bible and we, the natives, had the land. They said “Let us pray,” and we dutifully shut our eyes. When we opened them, why, they now had the land and we had the Bible. ”~Desmond M. Tutu, “Religious Human Rights and the Bible”

    “I refuse to prove that I exist” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith, I am nothing.” “Oh,” says man, “but the Babel Fish is a dead give-away, isn’t it? It proves You exist, and so therefore You don’t. Q.E.D.” “Oh, I hadn’t thought of that,” says God, who promptly vanishes in a puff of logic. ~Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

    http://www.rense.com/general69/obj.htm

    and

    PS:-sorry about taking up such a huge space but sometimes these old timers say it best 🙂

  5. I read about this. Actually these kind of things happen in all religions. Religion is always a great mask for the evil and the sick in human society.

  6. I agree with Nita – this happens in all religions…

    • maald
    • March 7th, 2009

    Sister Jesme recalls an encounter with a priest in Bangalore en route to Dharwar for a UGC refresher course in English. She originally planned to stay at the waiting room of Bangalore railway station, but some convent sisters suggested staying with a “pious, decent priest;” he personally received her at Bangalore. After breakfast, the priest took her to the Lalbagh Botanical Garden and showed her myriad couples cuddling behind the trees. And contrary to the official dogma, he “gave a sermon on the necessity of physical love and described the illicit affairs certain bishops and priests had.” On returning to his room, he stripped and forced her to do the same.

    http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=416

  7. See all the things around that are affecting us negatively !!

    And then some of them ask why i am agnostic !

    I feel that the biggest insult you can do to god is to believe that he lies everywhere, and is omnipotent. If he’s omnipotent, then why the world is so ??

    Why do we have something like religion at all?

  8. Good post Nimmy.Now my comments may hurt some ppl again,but still I have to say it.Is it true that Christians are handled with kid gloves? You please watch kerala news channels [except Manorama]on Abhaya case or this Jesme Book or the Potta scandal.No they are not handled with kid gloves. ‘Proud’ Hindus may think they are targetted by the media.Same is true for ‘proud’ Muslims and Christians.The truth is media have its own agenda based on who gives the Capital for its functioning.
    Nimmy, you said “Now I know what the hell this ‘psedo secularism'”is. Do you really know it Nimmy?
    Pseudo secularist is the term used by Communalists to call ppl who are opposed to their communal ideology, who they think are equally communal.
    A communalist cannot call others communalist as a derogatory term due to obvious reasons.A robber cannot call his foe robber.

    So use the term only if you think you are a communalist.
    Now if you really believe you are not a communalist then you can call those whom u believe are communal, communalist.
    Did I confuse you?

  9. Nice quotes by Indyeah!!

    • It seems like the author delberately attacking Christians. I found RSS sponsered news on internet abt Sr. Abhaya case. So many Hindu monks do so many sex scandals since the time of Hinuism. Many muslims support the hard cor terrorist Binladen & wanted Dawood Ibrahim. In Business , I know many Muslims do all kinds of cheating & tax evasion. They do k times prayers without problem. So no religion is qualified to blame any others. Some ignorant Muslims think their religion is the perfect one. But no religion is perfect. If Islam was the perfect, Shia & Sunni wont kill each other. All religions are created by Humans only. God never created any religion. If so there would be only one religion in the world, as God is only one. Each religion has its goodness & badness. If any one commit crime should be punished. But there are rascal politicians & police to protect any bastards & criminals

  10. Religion is the best mask man has ever produced. It hides a lot of things.
    I think all this gets shadowed because all our thought process is directed towards Muslims. Nobody just cares about the other communities.

  11. Good work Nimmy! We can clearly make out how money and power is used by church to cover up the mess. But no one can cover truth for long, not even God!

    ———————–]

    Welcome Ajith 🙂 I read your post,it is very much powerful and balanced..Will come tomorrow to read it again in peace and to comment 🙂 Keep coming -Nimmy

  12. i am from a small village with 60% hindus and 40 % of muslims . one of our fellow village man was diseived and taken to muringoor by his cunning christian friends . it was in 1994 . ever sinse he came home and distroyed all hindu gods pictures and he does not let his wife light hindu lamps ( sandya deepam) any longer. his wife and family are still tolerating him. he goes out to village after village and tell people hindu gods are fake. villagers laughed at him for two three years . now he stop working as an engineer and started cleaning job for his god. villagers some times do not tolerate hindu bashing and now a days he come home with cuts and bruise ( some body beat him up some times).very poor guy he is still under the wings of those black angels

    • roy renni
    • January 16th, 2010

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Nimmy(or what ever your real name is),
    This article contains lot of wrong information. I agree the chances of foul play in Sr.Abhaya is high. and Surely the culprit should be punished. But in every religion such things have occured. Won’t you agree ?
    But What you mentioned about Muringoor retreat center is totally wrong. I have been there. It is a holy place where weekly retreat is being conducted. In the retreat they preach Bible, love, mercy and power of God. There is never any teaching of hatred ( like in many other religious institution, including the one where you got this info).
    Just like you mentioned, 1000s of people go there every week to hear the Gospel and see healing miracles– rich/poor/educated/famous/intelletcuals all attend. I am a doctor working in US. Do you think all these people are silly and stupid.
    Have you gone there or try to verify the facts before writing this lie. What you did is a big sin infront of God(whoever it is) who respect truth.
    Yes some people die there. Because people on death bed come there. I have seen them. Most of them are at their last months, left to death. many are left abandoned elsewhere but brought here for a respectable death. Many chose to die there, many come in the hope of getting healed, Many wanted to die hearing the good news of God. There are hundreds of selfless volunteers taking care of these people.
    What these volunteers do is what Mother Theresa did in Calcutta. This is truly divine.
    You please go there and check. These priests and volunteers have nothing earthly to gain by having these dying people except what Jesus promised, “When you did this to the least of these people you did it for me”. true Christianity has a big deal for allowing respectable death and birth…
    Perhaps you never can appreciate why some people take this charity to help others. It is because of Christ. Perhaps you are a fault finder or a fanatic who never had opportunity to hear about What Christ. asked.
    Just take a week’s vacation and go there and see for yourself with an open mind. You will understand, no one will rape, or manipulate these old/sick people spending their last few days in the presence of God, perhaps experiencing love of God on earth for the first and last times.
    Use your brain – What is the logic of bringing all these people nearing death there. The authoroties won’t get any material benefits.
    Even if the God is Ram or Allah instead of the Holy Trinity, they will still bless this effort of the Divine Center. Have you given a thought of your allegation if what I said is correct… Do you think God will help you. ( like you mentioned in the page about yourself). Jesus loves the sick, poor, sinner and the unfortunate. If God id God he has to love everyone since they are all his children and he is in Control. Not like the silly God concepts you are thinking…
    If you believe in Satyameva Jayate, you need to compensate for the sins.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      • Nimmy
      • January 18th, 2010

      🙂 I haven’t gone there,but all what i quoted contains references and links,indicating that none of them came out of my ‘creative’ brain…

      Good day

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