Attack on a Catholic Malankara Church in Pune
As the sun was waiting to break into the dawn of freedom on 15th August 2011, some miscreants broke into St. Mary’s Malankara Catholic Church at the Warje Malwadi, Pune and desecrated the holy Church. The holy altar was vandalized, religious paintings of Jesus, Mother Mary and other saints were defaced with chalk and destroyed. The words “Shaitan dev” meaning “Satan God” were scribbled on the walls of the Church. The front part of the tabernacle where the consecrated Body of Jesus Christ is preserved was burned. The holy Bible and other prayer books were torn and scattered around. The crosses were thrown about and bended. Some decoration from the altar, too, were pulled off and destroyed.
Till date approximately 3,000 attacks had been made on different Churches in India. This being the first attack on the Church in Pune, was a direct attack on the Catholics, the minority community who are peace loving and provide many services to the nation in the field of education, social, medical etc.
The Bishop of Poona, Rt. Rev. Thomas Dabre, Rev. Bishop Jacob Mar Barnabas, the Catholic Association of Poona and the entire Catholic community strongly condemned this cowardly act and urged the government of Maharashtra (Home Ministry and the Commissioner of police) to take strong action immediately against the culprits and punish them.
Fr. Varghese Valikodath, the Parish Priest of St. Mary's Malankar Catholic Church, Warje Malwadi, in his letter to the Bishop, said that on 15th August around 6.30 a.m. Mr. K.G. Thomas, the secretary of the church came to the church and discovered the damage and desecration.
Fr. Varghese also added that on 16th August at 5.00 p.m. there would be church purification prayers and Holy Mass. All the nearby Catholic Church members and Priests had been informed and invited to participate in the prayers.
Catholic Association of Pune
Pune Christian Development Society