Victim Benny, Human rights activist Smt. Bulkkis Bhanu, Kerala Catholic Association for Justice
President Adv.Paulachen Puthuppara, Kerala Catholic Federation Gen. Secretary V.K. Joy
Church seeks explanation from member for marrying a HinduCourtesy: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/Church-seeks-explanation-from-member-for-marrying-a-Hindu/articleshow/51448139.cms
Kochi: Stirring up a controversy, the Irinjalakuda diocese of the Catholic Church has sought an explanation from one of its members for marrying a Hindu woman.
Benny Thommana belonging to the St Joseph's Church at Oorakam had married Lija Jayasudhan 10 years ago. The couple follow their respective religions.
But Benny was in for a shocker when he got a letter from the diocese in March 2016, seeking an explanation for marrying against the sacraments of the church. He was asked to appear before a special administrative tribunal of the church.
The marriage was registered under the Special Marriage Act on February 7, 2005. "I have not done anything against the law. We are being threatened. We want to lead a peaceful life," said Benny.
It all began six months ago when the parish vicar, Fr Pauly Padayatty, came to bless the house. "He insisted that my wife and children should get baptized," said Benny. "Following this, we got calls from the Bishop's House. I won't appear before the tribunal. There is no question of conversion. Our children will choose their religion when they grow up."
However, Fr Padayatty said the church records all events under it like baptism, funeral and marriage. "The tribunal calling him is a spiritual activity. We don't ask anyone to convert," he added.
On why the church took so long, Fr Padayatty said, "The family had kept the marriage under wraps." He added that if Benny is under the Catholic Church, he has to follow the sacraments of the church.
Benny's father is no more. His mother, Rejina, is a member of the parish's Catholic Mothers' Union.