A Kerala-based layman’s outfit has come out with a demand that nuns be allowed to perform the sacrament of confession for women and minors instead of priests. The stir comes in the wake of the recent incident of the rape of a minor girl allegedly by a Catholic priest in Kottiyoor in Kannur district.
Kerala Catholic Reformation Movement, which stands for reforms in the church, held a sit-in dharna outside the Bishop House in Kochi on Sunday to press their demand.
Indulekha Joseph, a member of the outfit, said they were raising the demand in the wake of the “increasing” instances of sexual abuses allegedly involving Christian priests.
The stir was attended by a number of people, including women and senior citizen, in front of the Major Archbishop’s House at Marine Drive in Kochi.
The participants at the dharna held banners with slogans ‘Let nuns perform the sacrament of confession of women’, ‘women are afraid of confession booths of priests’ and so on.
Joseph also claimed that Bible “does not say anywhere that the sacrament of confession be done by priests only.” The Kerala Catholic Bishop Council dismissed the protest by the group, saying there was no need for a discussion on the issue right now.
“The agitation is just to get media attention and also without understanding the core principles of Holy Bible,” Fr Varghese Vallikatt told PTI. He said the protesters should take church matters with much more seriousness and study the Bible.
“We are not rejecting the issue raised by them with contempt. But, there is no seriousness in their demand. They should approach the church matters seriously and study Bible,” he added.