The parishioners of Our Lady of Health of Velankanni at Irla have intensified their protests against the parish priest whom they have alleged of funds misappropriation.
They have threatened to close down the place of worship if the priest is not removed by June 28.
In a letter circulated to all the Catholic churches in the city and headquarters in Rome, the parishioners have alleged that Father George Thilammanal (57) along with some of his associates have been misusing their office for personal gains.
However, Father Thilammanal has denied all allegations levelled against him and his office-bearers, terming it as ‘baseless’. “I deny each and every allegation by these few parishioners who are opposing me for their personal interest,” he added.
The parishioners allege that though the repairing amount for the church was shown as Rs 50 lakh, there has been mismanagement of the funds.
The repair work cannot be justified to the amount spend, they said.
The priest has allegedly siphoned a great amount of donations and earning from the sales of wax, which keeps pouring into the church kity, the parishioners allege.
The priest has also alleged that he earned a lot of money from a mall owner for allowing the excavation work adjacent to the prayer hall.
The letter alleges that the priest has failed to perform his basic duties such as visiting the sick and never presides over the weekly meeting and never takes any decision related to the church activities.
“How long can we tolerate this? We want him to be removed,” said Lawson Periera (55), one of the parishioners.
Father George said the book of records was there for everyone to see and he would have no objection if the parishioners check it themselves or through any external agency.