Fishermen row: Catholics join RSS to flay cardinal

The Catholics in Kerala has reacted strongly against the "reported" statement by the newly appointed Cardinal on the killing of two Indian fishermen.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The Catholics in Kerala has reacted strongly on Wednesday against the `reported` statement by the newly appointed Cardinal Mar George Alancherry on the killing of two Indian fishermen by Italian security officials.

Kochi-based George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church in Kerala who was recently elected a Cardinal, had told a Catholic news agency, “In the episode, of course, there were errors, since the fishermen were mistaken for pirates. But it seems that the opposition party wants to take advantage of the situation and exploit the case for electoral reasons, speaking of `Western powers` or the `will of American dominance`."

"If he has actually said it, then we will have to express our protest to that statement," Father Rajesh Martin, spokesperson of the Latin Catholic Church of the Kollam dioceses, told reporters here on Wednesday.

Latin Archbishop Susai Pakiyam also expressed strong displeasure at bringing Vatican in the issue.

"I do not think that Cardinal will ever speak like what has been reported. We are Indians first and our country`s laws are first for us and we are bound by that only. Vatican will never ask us to take a position because we are bound to the Vatican only on religious matters and not on social and other local issues here," said Pakiyam.
Meanwhile, the RSS and the BJP have reacted strongly on `over stepping` by the Cardinal in the fishermen killing issue.

“Religious intervention in the issue is unwanted,” said RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav. BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitaraman said, “Any form of intervention in the probe is unacceptable.”
Under all round attack, Cardinal Mar George Alencherry in a press statement said he was misquoted by the Italian press agency . "The report of the Italian press agency is wrong. The agency removed the report and expressed their apology for the mistake. I have not tried to intervene in this matter, nor have I contacted any ministers regarding this”, he said.

"Two precious lives have been lost. Strong legal action should be taken against the guilty," he added.

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