Highest Vatican court gives clean chit to Cardinal Alencherry in land sale case

Cardinal George Alencherry, the Major Archbishop of Syro-Malabar Church
Cardinal George Alencherry, the Major Archbishop of Syro-Malabar Church. File photo: Manorama

The highest judicial authority in the Catholic Church has given a clean chit to Cardinal Mar George Alencherry in the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese land sale case.

The Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura has reportedly found that Cardinal Alencherry did not benefit personally from the sale of properties.

The Vatican court's ruling dismisses an appeal filed by a group of priests on January 31, 2023, against the decision of the dicastery for the Eastern Churches.

In a note -- reportedly accompanying the Vatican decree -- sent to Mar Andrews Thazhath, the Apostolic Administrator of the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese, Apostolic Nuncio Leopoldo Girelli has said: "...concerning matters related to the proposed sale of two properties by the Permanent Synod and the restitution of land losses incurred by the Archeparchy of Ernakulam-Angamaly.

"As your Grace will see, the Supreme Tribunal, after carefully studying the case, has now decreed that 'in matters already decided, let there be no reopening, and let this be informed to those concerned, with all the effect of law'."

With this, the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese has been approved to proceed with the sale of properties at Kottappadi and Devikulam in restitution for the losses incurred from the earlier sales.

Last month, Cardinal Alencherry moved the Supreme Court requesting the quashing of cases related to the land sale with the Magistrate Court at Kakkanad. The apex court had dismissed his plea.

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