Its getting Murkier in The Kerala Politics and society with CPI (M) getting in to war of words with the Church and that too on the dead body of one of the comrades……..
Addressing a memorial to Mathai Chacko, party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan had lambasted Thamarasseri Bishop Paul Chittilappilly for his remarks that the late comrade had accepted the last sacrament on a hospital bed in Kochi. The last sacrament is prayer ceremony given to a Christian on the deathbed.
A day after the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Conference condemned Pinarayi’s statement, both sides on Monday demanded an apology from each other. While the diocese representatives demanded an apology from Pinarayi in Kozhikode, CPI(M) youth organisation DYFI’s president Sri Ramakrishnan said the bishop must apologise for lying in public.
“The bishop should express regret for his statement that a true communist like Mathai Chacko had received last sacrament. He himself said later that Chacko was not conscious at the time of the priest’s visit,” Ramakrishnan said in Malapuram.
Meanwhile, Thamarasseri diocese has decided to close all institutions including the educational institutions under it in protest on Wednesday.
Even as bishops across the rites criticised Pinarayi, the opposition Congress was quick to get the cue. “In a democratic set-up, everyone can voice his opinion. But Pinarayi, who insulted Thamarasseri bishop, should apologise,” said KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala.
The bishop had first mentioned Chacko’s acceptance of the last sacrament at a rally against the Left-DF governement. He used the instance to target the “double standards” of the communists.
He later corrected the statement and said Chacko was “unconscious” at the time. Pinarayi insisted that Chacko “lived by communist principles until his death”. Even as the bishops were issuing statements against him and churchgoers organised rallies after Sunday mass, Pinarayi repeated his statement in Thiruvananthapuram.
Chacko’s wife Mercy refuted the bishop’s claim. “The bishop had visited my husband at the hospital. He said he would send a priest to pray for him. A priest came to the hospital but he didn’t give the last sacrament.”
Fr Jose Kottayil said he gave the last sacrament to Chacko in the presence of doctors and nurses three weeks before his death. He, however, said Chacko was unconscious at the time.