<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Kerala Catholic Reformation Movement (KCRM), a Kerala-based layman’s outfit, staged a protest on Sunday demanding that nuns perform the sacrament of confession for women and minors instead of priests.KCRM, which promotes reforms in the church, held a sit-in dharna attended by a number of people, including women and senior citizens in front of the Major Archbishop’s House at Marine Drive in Kochi, pressing for their demand.The protest comes in the wake of a growing number of incidents of sexual abused of minors by priests. Indulekha Joseph, a member of the outfit, claimed that the Bible “does not say anywhere that the sacrament of confession be done by priests only”.“There are many incidents I personally know of where the priest has asked for more details in cases of sexual ‘sins’. Church authorities have told me that many women confess in a bid to ‘entice’ the priest. If such issues exist, then how can women differentiate between good priests and the rest,” she was reported as saying by an English daily.“Nuns should be allowed to conduct Sacraments such as the Eucharist and the confession. Jesus had given the right to forgive sins to his disciples, just because all his disciples ended up being men because of the societal norms back then, doesn’t mean that traditions cannot be amended with time,” said added.The participants at the dharna held banners with slogans ‘Let nuns perform the sacrament of confession of women’, ‘Women are afraid of confession booths of priests’ and so on.However, the Kerala Catholic Bishop Council, dismissing the protest by the group, said that there was no need for a discussion on the issue right now. “The agitation is just to get media attention and is happening without understanding the core principles of the Holy Bible,” said Fr Varghese Vallikatt.He added that the Sacrament belongs to the Church, and the Church will decide who should perform it, further asking if it was the first time a sexual abuse case was being reported from among priests, reported another English daily. Fr Vallikatt directed the protesters to take church matters more seriously and to study the Bible. “We are not rejecting the issue raised by them with contempt. But there is no seriousness in their demand,” he added.According to reports, when KCRM approached church authorities with the request, they were sent away without even a promise of a discussion.The stir comes in the wake of the recent incident of the rape of a minor girl allegedly by a Catholic priest in Kottiyoor in Kannur district.
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