"It is not a unilateral decision of the cardinal. It is a collective decision taken by the ruling body of the archdiocese. It can never be a single decision of an archbishop to sell the land," he said.
"Certain technical things were not completed. But it was done in good faith...and the land was sold in order to repay the debts of the archdiocese," Kavilpurayidathil said.
"In the case of the sale of land exceeding a certain amount should have been consented with the synod of the Syro-Malabar Church before selling the land...that formality was not done. The bone of contention is not the omissions, or failure of fulfilling the technicalities....in the execution process [of the sale], some of the technicalities were not observed. Ok, there are problems which can be solved within the frame of the Church. And those omissions are those things which could be solved within the Church...the economic side of the archdiocese is being solved now."
Kavilpurayidathil also said that the land deal was more complicated than is usually reported, and that said that Alencherry's actions were an effort to make the best decisions in an unexpected situation.
"A few pieces of land under the possession of the Archdiocese were sold, as per the decision taken collectively in the canonical bodies of the Archdiocese to repay the debt of the Archdiocese," the priest explained.
"But, the broker handed over only a part of the amount to the archdioceses in the stipulated time. When cardinal understood that the broker has not given the expected money, he prevailed on the broker to get two plots of land, which were under the possession of the broker, registered in the name of the archeparchy as security or pawn for the money due from him. By doing so, in fact, Cardinal Alencherry tried his best to save the archeparchy from the loss in the land sale deed. In fact, if the two lands registered in the name of the archeparchy are sold, the archeparchy would get financial profit and not loss."
Kavilpurayidathil also emphasized that recent protests against Alencherry had nothing to do with the case of a nun who accused another Indian bishop, Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar, of raping her in 2014.
The nun who made the accusation is originally from Kerala state, belongs to the Syro-Malabar Church, but is under the jurisdiction of a Latin bishop in the north of India, Kavilpurayidathil said.
The nun called Alencherry and complained, in the local language, of harassment within her congregation. The call was recorded and later broadcast on an Indian television station.
It was reported that Alencherry may have been made aware of the nun's sexual assault allegation as a result of the call before she filed an official complaint, a report which Kavilpurayidathil says is false because the nun never specifically mentioned sexual assault during the phone call.
Moreover, Kavilpurayidathil said Alencherry would not have had the authority to investigate the nun's complaints, as her congregation is part of the Latin Catholic Church. As a result, Alencherry referred her to the Archbishop of Bombay and to the apostolic nuncio.
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"Cardinal Alencherry has nothing to do with the internal problems of the [nun's] congregation," he stated.
"If a nun calls a bishop, the head of the church to which she originally belonged, and tells him 'I am raped,' or 'I am abused' by a bishop, why didn't the bishop take action?" Kavilpurayidathil said, posing a question.
"One has to clearly understand that in the telephone conversation...she never said [anything] about abuses, that she's raped. She merely raises the internal problems of the congregation...internal, administrative problems," Kavilpurayidathil said.
"Cardinal Alencherry, being the head of the Syro-Malabar Church, has no jurisdiction to look into that, so he rightly tells them to contact Cardinal Oswald Gracias, to contact the nuncio, because in the Latin jurisdiction they are the [correct] persons to take action."
"We are facing some problems in the Church right now, and the nun's rape case has nothing to do with these problems," he added.
Indeed, the priest said that media reports criticizing the cardinal are part of a "calculated move to defame Cardinal within the Church and before the public. In social media, you see almost every day demands that Cardinal should resign and go away. We cannot take these expressions or demands as casual ones. They are part of a calculated move."