Puttur: As mentioned in our earlier report already, a group of parishioners, being disillusioned with the way the administration of the church of Our Lady Virgin of the Poor in Uppinangady was being run, were planning to take to a more vigorous kind of agitation.
As their grievances had not been favourably acted upon by the higher-ups, the group led by Oswald Pinto had met the rural circle police inspector Anil Kulkarni last week. He had apprised him of the possible unpleasant developments, stressing that since there was no solution in sight, they would hold a protest at the church premises on Sunday, January 10, 2016. Locking the church premises to highlight their frustration was also part of their protest.
The report published in this website on Jan 5 had highlighted the importance of resolving the matter within the four walls, without any interference by outsiders. It caught wide attention at the parish level and at the diocesan level after many parishioners of Uppinangady and Puttur deanery living abroad circulated it in full steam. The result was seen immediately.
Bishop Dr Aloysius D’Souza deputed Father Alfie Pinto, the Puttur parish priest and head of the local deanery, to Uppinangady to sort out the issue.
The talks which were held between the feuding groups on Jan 7 bore fruit and a meeting of the parish pastoral council, which functions as an advisory body, followed on Jan 8. It was also resolved to convene a general meeting of all parishioners on February 7 to arrive at solutions to all outstanding issues.
On his part, Oswald Pinto has welcomed the Bishop’s quick response and has announced that the agitation has been held over for the time being. He has also assured of his group’s full cooperation to the annual feast scheduled to be held on January 13. Besides, he has issued a statement in writing to this effect.
Speaking to this writer, Fr Alfie, well known for his public relations and organizational skills, said he was happy that his mission of negotiations was successful. Many parishioners, speaking exclusively in the matter, said that they were relieved that good counsel had prevailed and hoped that peace and harmony would be maintained.
The need to avoid washing of the dirty linen in public and also interference by outsiders or the police, which was highlighted in the previous report, was widely appreciated by the parishioners.