Thursday, April 19, 2012

CHRIST Centered Campaign (CCC) Newsletter No 62. April 12, 2012

CHRIST Centered Campaign (CCC) Newsletter No 62.  April 12, 2012

In This Issue

Moderator Postpones Consultation on Church Renewal

Church of South India is Not a Company!

RoC calls on the CSITA

Moderator Postpones Consultation on Church Renewal

In CCC No 59 we had reported how CSI Moderator G. Devakadasham was planning a “wider consultation” in Chennai on May 2, 2012 for renewal of the church. That CSI communiqué announcing this had first been spotted by the CCC on this blog
But now the consultation has been shifted to July 23 and the same communiqué reissued with only a change in the date. See the CSI Synod website for the latest announcement. Why this postponement? On March 23, 2012 the Moderator had met in Nagercoil with a delegation from the “Movement for the Renewal and Reformation of the Church of South India.”  This is  a group comprising two former Moderators of the CSI,  a serving Bishop (of Thoothukudi-Nazareth Diocese), two former bishops,  former principals of theological and other colleges, Synod members, pastors and lay leaders. A Memorandum presented to the Moderator on the occasion and containing proposals for significant changes to the CSI Constitution is contained in Annexure 1.

The CCC appreciates the considerable thought and discussion that has gone into framing the various reform proposals. Unfortunately we are not convinced this will find a ready audience with the powers that be. And proof of how difficult it will be to change mindsets has come within days of the proposals being submitted to the Moderator. The CCC understands the Moderator circulated the Memorandum among his fellow bishops for their feedback at a retreat in Mizoram. Apparently the consensus reached  was that the Moderator himself should prepare a “policy paper” to be presented at the proposed consultation  – a decision that has resulted in the May 2 meeting being postponed. Any reform proposals the Moderator may articulate in his policy paper  will inevitably be vetted by other Officers of the Synod and by the Bishop’s Council before it becomes public and this will likely result in a weak reform document. It will be a document that will enable the leadership to take credit for mooting reform (instead of  letting the group that presented the Memorandum steal its thunder) while in actual fact doing little more than  tinker at the edges.

The challenge for the Movement for the Renewal ….. (apart from coming up with a catchy acronym of its name that people can remember easily) is to make it truly a movement of, for and by CSI members.   The current CSI leadership must be aware that the movement, despite it being called that, does not go beyond a few dozen people at this stage. Hence they  feel little pressure to agree to the reforms suggested. Unless there is pressure built from the grassroots it seems unlikely the powers that be will concede any dilution of their powers and agree to demands for  greater transparency and accountability that lie at the heart of the reforms suggested. Hopefully a May meeting proposed by Dr Jayakaran Isaac of the Abundant Life Movement, Vellore, to build an action plan to back the reform proposals will move things in the direction of turning what is now an intellectuals movement into a broader people’s one. 

Church of South India is Not a Company!

Two recent articles on the CSI, one in the Times of India (ToI) and another in its sister publication The  Economic Times (ET) have caused both confusion and consternation among CSI members. The ToI article was headlined “HC: Church of South India is a Company” (see ) while the ET story said pretty much the same thing. See

Both headlines are completely wrong as the Madras High Court did not rule CSI  to be a company. The court only said since the Church of South India Trust Association (CSITA), which holds all the assets of the CSI and which had filed the suit,  is registered as a company, it has to  abide by the provisions of the Companies Act which inter alia gives the Registrar of Companies power to inspect its books. (for full text of court order please see Annexures in CCC No 60) The CSI Synod website itself declares CSITA to be a company. See So that can hardly be called news. As for the church (CSI) itself, it remains an unregistered association of persons with a written constitution. By no stretch of imagination (and the sub editors in the two dailies who gave the headlines obviously had very fertile ones) can the CSI be called a company. The court certainly did no such thing. Since there are academic tomes now coming out on  the topic of CSI being a company (See Annexure 2) based on the misleading newspaper headlines, the CCC felt it important that the record be set straight about what the court order actually said.

RoC calls on the CSITA

For readers who have been following the saga of the Registrar of Companies’ (RoC) six-month long effort to inspect the books of the CSITA (See CCC Newsletter No 61) here is some Breaking News: An RoC team visited the CSITA office on 9th April 2012. Even though the RoC had given two weeks notice of its visit, both the  Moderator and the General Secretary of the CSI (who as Chairman and Hon. Secretary respectively of the CSITA are its two top officials) made it convenient to absent themselves from the office. It was left to the Hon.Treasurer Bennet Abraham to answer the visitors’ queries. Much of the questioning related to the relationship between the CSI and the CSITA and Dr Abraham (a medical doctor by training) could not really satisfy his interrogators. So they left a set of questions asking for the answers to be sent in a week’s time or else face action under the law.

Shortly thereafter a three-member CSI delegation headed by the Moderator took off to Delhi. Perhaps the attempt is to repeat what the CSI leadership did when the Income Tax Department served a three page-long notice on the CSITA in December 2010. At that time a group of six bishops headed by then Moderator S. Vasanthakumar drove down to Thanjavur from Chennai to  press DMK MP and Deputy Union Finance Minister S.S. Palanimanickam to get the IT authorities to back off (see CCC Newsletter No 7). That visit -- involving  the brazen use of cassocks and crucifix to subvert a legitimate enquiry --  did not yield the desired results as the DMK was by then in the dog house in New Delhi where the 2G scandal involving its minister A. Raja had just blown up. The IT authorities in Chennai eventually submitted a couple of damming reports on CSI finances to higher ups in Delhi who appear to be sitting on them for the moment. One will  not be surprised if Moderator Devakadasham is expecting a more helpful response from Union Minister of Corporate Affairs Veerappa Moily ( under whom the RoC operates) than was the case with the DMK minister.  The CCC Convenor has e-mailed Mr Veerappa Moily requesting the law be allowed to take its own course in the RoC investigations. If you would like to help ensure the RoC gets to do its job,  write to us and we will send you a draft  text of  how you can word your email to the minister

CCC PrayerDear Lord Jesus, we thank you for giving people who drafted the Memorandum on church reform the necessary wisdom to frame its various points. We thank you for the spark of interest the proposals have generated in the Moderator. We pray Lord that you will guide him to use the most important points from this Memorandum in drafting his policy paper and resist the inevitable pressures that will be brought to water down its contents. There are two challenges, you know Lord, the Memorandum faces. First is its credibility stemming from the fact that some of the people who helped draft it have themselves been guilty of corruption and mismanagement when holding positions of power in the church and  its related institutions. The second Lord is how to gain support for it among the wider CSI membership. We pray that with your help these challenges will be overcome and the path cleared for meaningful and swift reform of the CSI. On the RoC investigation, we pray Lord that any attempt being made by the powers that be to scuttle or bury it will be defeated. In your precious name we ask this prayer. Amen.  


Anonymous said...

Dear Friends... I am a long time member of the CSI Vellore Diocese.The diocese is in the midst of the most corrupt BISHOP's election . There is Crass corruption...All the candidates paid the Diocesan council members from the rural pastorates were paid Rs 3000...some Rs 5000 and some Rs 7000..a few were given washing machines..It is an open secret..and people are saying it it the most corrupt election till date..all the pastors who have been selected to the pannel are now getting their war chests ready..THE MODERATOR AND DY MODERATOR ARE DEMANDING BETWEEN 30 AND 40 LAKHS OF RUPEES.. Please chat with any Pastor of the Vellore Diocese and you will get confirmation of the above..How can we prevent the Moderator and Dy Moderator..demanding Rs 40 lakhs...How can we make the elections FAIR ..AND TRANSPARENT AND CORRUPTION FREE ...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Dear all in Christ
I come from CSI Vellore Diocese. The Bishop's panel election for 2012 was not in the way GOD instituted, but man made. It was worse than the politics outside. O my GOD voters were bought with money. So it is a lucrative job,business not a ministry? The previous Bishop very much corrupted the diocese. God will judge him at HIS appointed time. I believe that we all follow the SAVIOUR CHRIST. We need to have our CHRIST ID. Please Pray that a GODLY man serves as the BISHOP to bring GLORY to OUR GOD and SAVIOUR. I strongly believe that the money can't buy the ministry,but can buy bishop. As long as God fearing people are there (even one person can save the ministry) Even Bangalore KNH staff can try to bribe but GOD is there watching us.
Please PRAY for GOD's intervention, HE can work through as in the ACTS, husband and wife who lied the HOLY SPIRIT about the property value sold. They died instantly

repent? no time left?
In christ alone we inherit inherit, amen

சந்திரானந்தா சுவாமிகள் said...

ஊழியத்துக்கு வந்திருப்பவர் அனைவரும் கடவுளால் தேர்ந்தெடுக்க பட்டவரா???
அவர்களுடைய சொந்த பொருளாதார அடிப்படையின் கீழ் வந்தவர்கள்,
அவர்கள் எப்பிடி ஊழியம் செய்யவார்கள்???
தம் தம் பொருளாதார வாழ்வை தான் தேடி கொள்வார்களே தவிர ஊழியம் அல்ல
ஊழியம் என்ற பேரிள்ளே ஆரம்பித்து கோடிஸ்வரர்கள் ஆனவர் பலருண்டு
அதை பார்த்து ஊழிய காரர்கள் ஆனவர் பலருண்டு, அனேக உதாரணங்கள் உண்டு
ஆண்டவர் அருளி இருக்கிறார், கடைசி காலத்திலே என் நாமத்தை சொல்லி வெள்ளை அங்கி உடுத்தி நிறைய பேர் வருவார்கள் நம்பிடாதே என்று
செம்மறி ஆட்டு கூட்டம் என் செய்யும் இதுபோல நயவஞ்சகர்கள் உள்ளவரை ஆண்டவரின் கூடாரம் ஒரு வாரச்சந்தையே, விலைமுக்கே
ஆதலால் புரிந்துனர்வீர்
கடவுள் கொடுத்த சுய உணர்வை கொண்டு சிந்தித்து வாக்களிப்பீர் கடவுளுக்கே
வெள்ளை அங்கி உடுத்தி ஏமாற்றும் கயவர்காக அல்ல