Express press service
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After a lull, the MM Cathedral at LMS Junction in Thiruvananthapuram is once again in the spotlight.
CSITA Stakeholders Association, Kerala has alleged that A Dharmaraj Rasalam, Moderator of CSI Church and Bishop of South Kerala Diocese, who has been slapped with more than 13 criminal cases, is set to travel to the Kingdom United to escape business.
Bishop Rasalam is due to attend an Anglican Church meeting in the UK. Majority of the cases against the Bishop relate to the Karakonam CSI Medical College corruption case.
Bishop Rasalam made headlines in 2019 when the Admissions Oversight Committee for Medical Education – headed by R Rajendra Babu – recommended criminal charges against him and other officials at Dr Somervell Memorial CSI Medical College, Karakonam .
More recently, the bishop made headlines when a significant portion of parishioners belonging to the former MM Church (now MM Cathedral) blamed him for converting it into a cathedral. The development saw a smaller church being dismantled, allegedly by those who support the bishop.
With authorities and police favoring the bishop, more than 800 parishioners severed ties with him and have since moved out legally. Now they hold Sunday mass in a former church belonging to the Salvation Army in Kowdiar with a rent of Rs 15,000 per day.
CSITA Stakeholders Association Secretary General Jacob Mathew said The new Indian Express that Bishop Rasalam has been implicated in more than 13 cases, including cheating and embezzlement.
“Bishop Rasalam and Bishop BN Fen of CSI Church, Aluva are traveling to the UK to attend the Lambeth Conference which is held once every 10 years at the University of Kent, Canterbury Cathedral and the Lambeth Palace from July 26 to August 8. The conference has been convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is learned that they will not return to India, in order to avoid the criminal charges pending against them. They have enough support foreign churches to stay out of our justice system,” said Jacob Mathew.
He sent letters to the Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs, to the Commissioner of Immigration in New Delhi, to the headquarters of the State Department of Immigration in Kochi, to the Directorate of Law Enforcement and also to the DGP.
This newspaper is also in possession of an order issued by the CBI’s Special Crime Branch in Thiruvananthapuram – dated March 23, 2022 – to Canara Bank’s Chief Vigilance Officer, B Uma Shankar, recommending an investigation of the CBI against Bishop Rasalam.
The order states that Bishop Rasalam had illegally pawned CSITA religious property worth 20 crores by “self-proclaimed power agents” of the church in collusion with Canara Bank officials at the Pettah branch in Thiruvananthapuram.