I have been trying for the last 10 months to highlight to the Archbishop of Mumbai, Bishop Agnelo Gracias some of the many irregularities that are happening at the Sacred Heart Church Parish Santa Cruz, and have not answer from him. Yes there were times that I had planned to hold a demonstration, get the press involved ,and even take some of the issues on assets and monies to the charity commissioner. However coming from a well bred christian family, there were pressures on me by the family, relatives and friends not to do so and I agreed. last week I received a email which I attach below from Bishop Agnelo Gracias, where in he is inciting me to go public and ridiculing me on English spelling and gramatic mistakes, yet has not even touched the tip of the issues I have raised. I felt we the catholics of Mumbai should be aware. I am open to your queries and questioning at any forum, yet we need to clean the rot in our church administration once and for all. I believe this is not restricted to Santa Cruz but the whole of Mumbai. I would appreciate your feedback. may be you would need a one to one discussion with me I am ready, andtime anywhere.
We cannot let this rot continue.
Email from Bishop Agnelo Gracias.
Mr. Gordon Jacobs:
My dear Gordon,
I have patiently tolerated your numerous e-mails and SMS messages. Now, however, I have reached the limit of my tether and it is time to respond.
You will wonder why initially I had kept in touch with you, but after some time refused to respond to you. It is because I found I was just wasting my time: I found you totally ineffective and totally confused too. Let me give you some examples of both.
v You had told me to give just one letter and Tony Lewis from the parish, who had much clout with the Police, would speedily settle the Shinde affair, Nothing happened! I realize that Tony was not prepared to use his influence for you.
v You sent me an e-mail that at the Christmas midnight Mass parishioners would come with black bands as a protest against Fr. Tony Mendonca. Nothing of that sort happened.
v You sent an e-mail that you would be distributing handbills at Santacruz to let people know about Fr. Tony Mendonca. What has been the result? Nothing!
I realized that nothing happens because you are an isolated individual in the parish. I have been told that parishioners just disregard you. In fact, several wondered how I was wasting my time responding to your letters!
Confused state of mind:
When Reggie Fernandes decided to drop out of his present job, you sent me an e-mail asking how the bishop was allowing him to escape. I was amazed wondering why you wanted me to keep Reggie back in his post. Would his continuation in office help in any way? Would not, rather, his being out of office help the next parish priest to check Reggie’s misdeeds? This is just one example of your confused state of mind. I could give you more examples too, if you wish.
The climax for me when you hauled an innocent man, Bp. Bosco’s driver, to the police on baseless charges of being drunk – a man who does not touch liquor! It is a bit of an irony that you could not get an encroacher like Shinde booked but could get a poor innocent person booked on false charges.
As I said, I refused to correspond with you, but we have been implementing the suggestions of sensible parishioners (Virginia Saldanha and others). Accordingly, a Parish Finance Committee has been put into place, suitable persons, including women, suggested by them have been appointed as members and Guidelines have been drawn up for the Allocation of Flats. It was happenings at Sacred Heart, Santacruz, that prompted Cardinal Oswald to draw up the Guidelines which have been made applicable to all parishes of Bombay archdiocese. Steps have been taken, but wise ones – not exactly the ones you have been constantly proposing.
Pardon me for this longish letter – there is much more that I could write and comment on, including your ignorance of the actual Marinagar situation. I leave that aside. Allow me one final remark: If you send e-mails, make sure that at least the spellings and grammar are correct. Even such a common word as “properties” is wrongly spelt. Please get your e-mails corrected by someone who knows English. I am writing this for your own good. People who receive your e-mails must be having a good laugh at your mistakes.
With kind regards,
+ Bishop Agnelo Gracias