The annual transfers related to Catholic priests of the Archdiocese of Madras-Mylapore have generated some heat and controversy with a section of the laity alleging that Dalit priests are being discriminated against. Messages on social media are flying thick and fast, explaining the allegations and some using foul language.
Posters were also put up in some places in San Thome, with barbs made against the archbishop Dr Rev George Antonyswamy.
Some members of the laity say that the priest who is at the centre of the controversy had a bad record in recent years and a transfer was due. They also question the opposite group’s stance. “When the church does not see itself as Dalit or of one community why raise the Dalit card when it comes to transfers?”, asks one advocate, a lay activist.
Many priests of this diocese have been facing flak for immoral acts; the church has found it difficult to tackle them. Also, such issues are not debated in the public space and often swept under the carpet.