People from other parishes also gathered at the church compound and joined a Mass and a candle light protest
The demolition of a church in south Delhi in India has upset the Syro-Malabar Catholics living in the national capital.
Father Jose Kannukuzhi, parish priest of Little Flower Church in Lado Sarai, said that on July 12 morning officials of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation came with three bulldozers and some 150 police personnel.
“They told me they would only demolish a hall adjacent to the church building. So I did not remove the sacred things from the church building,” the priest told Matters India.
As the news of the demolition spread through social media, parishioners came to the demolished church to protest. People from other parishes also gathered at the church compound and joined a Mass and a candle light protest late in the evening.
Monsignor Joseph Odanat, vicar general of Faridabad Syro-Malabar diocese, said the demolition was a “calculated hidden agenda of the local administration and the land mafia to evacuate us from there.”
He claimed the diocese had obtained a stay order in 2015. “We will go ahead with legal actions,” Monsignor Odanat told Matters India.
Archbishop Kuriakose Bharanikulangara of Faridabad expressed sadness and shock over the incident. “The authorities have razed a religious place and hurt the sentiments of the people,” he told Matters India.
The land was donated to the diocese 12 years ago for religious purpose of some 1,500 local Catholics.