Attempt to escape responsibility
Over the past six months we have been receiving a single statement from the hierarchy of the Church in Goa with regards to Vanxim sale. While BMM has been stressing the need for the office of the Goa Archbishop to act decisively on Vanxim land scam there are serious attempts at escaping the responsibility to act and speak out. We are often told that once the Church sold the land in Vanxim we are not responsible as to whom the buyer further sells the land. The utterances from certain priests presumes the innocence of the seller, in this case office of the Goa Archbishop as to whom the buyer further sells the land. However, this is not the case.
On record hobnobbing with corporate
Even though Ozone Leisure and Tourism Pvt Ltd are not named in the agreement to sale of Vanxim in 1999 there is clear hobnobbing with the corporate world. Though this Agreement to Sale of Vanxim is between the Goa Archdiocese and Mahendra Gaunekar the indicators are prevalent in the document that Archdiocese would sell Vanxim (Capao) not only to Mahendra Gaunekar but if needed would enter into direct sale to corporate on the recommendations from Mahendra Gaunekar. This is very serious situation considering that now the attempts are ongoing to brainwash public to establish innocence of the office of the Archbishop.
Why brainwashing now?
We however are baffled as to why certain priests are hell bent on brainwashing public to announce non-existent the innocence of the office of the Goa Archbishop. The issue is even more surprising since the brainwashing attempts are being made after Goa Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao already went on public record that Vanxim land sale by his office is morally wrong. What exactly few priests want to establish by these assertions is not known. Do they wants to prove Goa Archbishop was wrong in asserting that Vanxim sale is morally wrong? If yes, then would not this amount to rebellion against the Authority of Goa Archbishop? Are these priests regretting that Archbishop publicly stated Vanxim sale is morally wrong? Revelations from God in due course of time may help us to know this rather strange behavior of priests engaged in brainwashing public particularly Catholics.
The deeper plunge needed
It is a common sense that when stakes are as high as Vanxim land parceling out to 5 star hotel and for housing for the super rich the lure of mammon would be tempting specially for those in various leadership positions. This is particularly true of Church leadership even though there are signs that God has not abandoned his Church to be lured away for money and restoration work and wrestling with the mammon is ongoing. The statement of Goa Archbishop that Vanxim sale of paddy fields and bunds is morally wrong is one such indicator to reclaim the unruly affairs at the office of the Goa Archbishop. The statement invites us towards deeper plunge in reflection on the morally wrong state of affairs inside the office of the Goa Archbishop. Archbishop’s statement admitting moral wrongness of the Vanxim sale deed has confirmed what many had suspected for decades: all is not well within the office of the Goa Archbishop and things have gone towards extreme situation prompting Goa Archbishop to describe one of its fruits as morally wrong. It is most common knowledge that Vanxim sale is not the sole fruit of the affairs of Goa Archbishop that has turned to be morally wrong. What is currently needed is a deeper plunge to reflect prayerfully, honestly and trace out the roots of moral wrongs going ons at the corridors of power within Church apex body in Goa.
Resisting temptations to silence in the face Justice
There are most powerful temptations of every possible evil to maintain status quo that perpetuates moral wrongs in the office of the Goa Archbishop. There are many who are aware but has stayed away from initiating any firm action to change. This is so much unlike Jesus Christ whom the Church and particularly the Priests are supposed to preach. There is no smoke without fire even though for a time being fire may not be visible. If people in the corridors of power do not take measure to change the situation Public intervention is inevitable. Not only because the tree that bears morally wrong fruits has grown big but also because it has been acknowledged by the Authority as senior as the Patriarch of the Indies and the Archbishop of Goa Daman and Diu. When such high authority speaks out it is very important that it needs to be redressed very sincerely and honestly, and what is needed to be done be effected without delay on priority basis, bravely. If this is neglected by the clergy and the laity then not only this will ruin the public morals in Church and Society but also accumulate sins of omissions. It is therefore gravely dangerous to maintain silence in the face of injustice. Or else the morally wrong tree that has grown in the office of Goa Archbishop will spread its roots in the heart of every person in Goa. This is going to be very tragic situation comparable only to moral suicide of a civilization.
Tracing the traces of scam in Tenants Association of Vanxim
One of the most cited document by the office of the Goa archbishop is the NOC to sell Paddy fields given to a ‘Goan Firm’ by Tenants Association of Vanxim on 26.02.1996. However what is surprising is that even though this document is cited as the most prized document justifying sale of Vanxim till date it has not been made public and still top guarded secret. One may question as to why this lid of secrecy still not removed? Why the names who signed the document not made public? In normal way of dealing this documents would have been easy to share publicly. Yet secrecy around this turns the entire affair as a skeleton in the cupboard at the office of the Goa Archbishop. It is well known now that the office of the Archbishop has kept this secret as the signatories of N.O.C are not the legitimate office bearers of the Tenants Association of Vanxim.
Narayan Bhosle systematically collaborated with vested interests, breached boundaries of the paddy fields and allowed Mandovi water to flood Paddy fields but also refused to hand over the charge to the new elected committee composed of Paulina D’Souza and Chandrakant Volvoikar, both of whom lodged separate complaints with the State administration followed by another one by Ligorio F. Silveira with Mamlatdar of Tiswadi in 1995 itself. It is the Tenants Association of Vanxim illegitimate office bearers that have most probably signed the N.O.C. on 26.02.1996. As long as this document is maintained in secret nail of suspicion against the office of the Archbishop will not go away despite innumerable attempts towards distraction.
Breaking out of Vanxim Scam
Office of the Goa Archbishop has to take a call on Vanxim scam. After taking first step by labeling Vanxim sale as morally wrong, it has to move on to rectify the wrongs. Committing a scam is bad. Persisting in scam is worse. And after recognizing scam publicly to persist in the same is worst. Currently the office of the Goa Archbishop is in the worst state. After admitting that sale of Vanxim was morally wrong they have continued in a scam state. This must change. There is a felt need for the office of the Archbishop to take on pro-active stance and to break out of Vanxim scam. Few steps are needed. Most important step is to criticize the Goa cabinet decision to declare Vanxim as Investment Promotion Area. Forty six survey numbers from Vanxim are notified in the gazette notification and most of them office of Archbishop is involved through sale deeds. For this it has to overcome the current inhibitions blocking such action.
The inhibition currently is: how can the Office of the Archbishop criticize Vanxim five star hotel cum luxury housing for the super rich when they themselves are involved in selling Vanxim to Gaunekar who then sold the same to Ozone corporate. Office of the Archbishop has a primary duty to break out of this scam and it has to speak out with all its might. Selling of Vanxim was carried on in secrecy and sale was kept in secrecy for over four years from February 2006 to February 2010. This was done so that time limit for challenging sale deed passes off. Now the systematic collaborations with corporate and the brokers has caused so much damage to the reputation of the Church, Crisis of Faith and spiritual disarmament. Perhaps it is the spiritual disarmament that has boosted up the office of the Goa Archbishop to sell off Vanxim. Vanxim sale deed does not place any condition of silence in the face of injustice. One day that Sun will rise and sent rays so powerful into the office of Goa Archbishop that Prophets will do what Council for Social Justice and Peace (CSJP) has failed: Criticize fearlessly, publicly. Void caused by murder of Fr. Bismarck Dias will be filled up. Lets pray for disarmament of those predators who prey on Vanxim and Goa and the native people of Goa.