Previous article Next article

India Court Affirms Christian Priests' Right to Property Despite Poverty Oath

on 2017/6/18 19:28:17 ( 652 reads )


KOCHI, INDIA, June 16, 2016 (Religion News Service): A high court in southern India has ruled that Christian priests and nuns are entitled to their right to property despite their vows of poverty, signaling an end to a centuries-old tradition that has left many in the clergy destitute. In its order last week in favor of a priest whose relatives cut him out of his share of ancestral property, the court in Kerala state said a priest can give up his property if he wishes to, but there can be no "automatic deprivation" because he is in a religious order and has "renounced worldly pleasures." The ruling applies to all religions in the state, and to women in a religious order as well.

The high court, which overturned a lower court's ruling against the priest, placed the Indian Succession Act -- which guarantees all citizens equal inheritance rights -- above canon law, which requires the surrender of any inheritance to the church, said Sabu George, a lawyer for the priest. The Catholic priests' association has long demanded a state pension and compensation from the church for retired priests and those who leave the clergy. They are often forced to live on a small stipend or depend on the largesse of the parish. A spokesman for the Catholic church in the state said they were disappointed with the ruling, and may appeal.

Previous article Next article
The comments are owned by the author. We aren't responsible for their content.
Copyright© 2016 Himalayan Academy. All rights reserved.

Get from the App Store Android app on Google Play