No plan to check purity of crown offered by Suresh Gopi, we stand for peace: Thrissur Church

Suresh Gopi places the crown on the statue of Mother Mary along with his wife Radhika and daughter Bhagya. Photo: Special Arrangement

Thrissur: Taking the sting out of the 'Purity of crown' controversy, the administration of the 'Our Lady of Lourdes Metropolitan Cathedral' in Thrissur has denied any decision being taken to assess the gold content in the crown offered by Suresh Gopi who is the NDA candidate for the LS polls in Thrissur. 

A member of the trust told Onmanorama that the discussion was only on inventorying the assets received during the tenure of a trust.  

" We don’t know how such a news broke out and became a controversy. We haven’t decided to check the purity and we will never do so. It is an offering given by a devotee to the Church and we are nobody to check its value or purity. In the past too, the trust has not checked the purity or value of any offerings. All we do is record the offerings in our asset registry properly. We request everyone to stay away from such controversies and discussions," said a trust member, requesting not to be named.

The tenure of the current four-member trust, led by managing trustee Fr. Davis Pulikkottil, Forane Vicar - Lourdes Metropolitan Cathedral, Thrissur, ends in August this year. " Whenever a trust hands over its duties and powers to the next elected trust by the parish, it is customary to also hand over the registry of the assets and offerings received at the church. We never check the value of the offerings and it is not the responsibility of the trust to do so," the member explained.

The source added that it was true there were some discussions on the crown in the meeting held on Sunday and Fr. Davis Pulikkottil clearly explained the Church’s stand there itself. The news that the Church has formed a five-member committee to check the crown’s purity is also wrong, sources said.

Requesting the public and netizens in particular, not to make the matter a controversy, the authorities said the Church always stood for unity and peace. The churches usually sell or auction the saleable assets received as offerings to raise funds to be used for the Church or for any public cause.

It was on January 15 that Suresh Gopi along with his family visited the church and offered the crown weighing over 500 grams to Mother Mary in the presence of Fr. Pulikottil and trustee member Dalsan Davis Pellissery. The controversy slowly kick-started after former Congress MLA Anil Akkara posted on his Facebook page on February 27 that believers have raised doubts about the quantity of gold in the crown. " This controversy should be resolved urgently. It will cause huge problems in the future and it is the responsibility of those who are donors and receivers to ensure that the half-kilo crown is gold," he posted.

At the same time, it is reliably learnt that the Church authorities are planning to bring a protocol while a believer gives an offering to Mother Mary in future.

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