Sam Paul's letter to the DGP-Kerala
- The Director General of Police Kerala
10th April 2008
Greetings to you from All India Christian Council.
We thank God for your good work for the Kerala citizens and pray for
wisdom and protection for our police forces. I would like to submit
to you that the official judgment of the Honorable Supreme court is
out on the Divine Retreat Centre alleged Sexual abuse, and alleged
unnatural deaths, etc.
The court order proves that there was no truth in the fabricated
cases against this world's largest Catholic Centre that has brought
solace, healing and joy to Lakhs and Lakhs of people from all
religions in India and several from abroad.
This is to submit to your good office to initiate appropriate
investigation on the Police officers that have connived with anti-
social elements to throw mud on this divine retreat centre. Kindly
arrange to investigate their interest in causing this tortuous
harassment to the centre, the leadership there. Did the police
officers that did this receive any money as a gift? or promotions or
what other kind of favors have they got? Kindly arrange to
investigate the matter and give them the due punishment for this
slur they brought on the image of Kerala police. This news is spread
worldwide and it brings a shame to our wonderful country and a shame
on all the upright officers that labor day and night and do their
Thanking you for looking into this and taking the appropriate action
Dr. Sam Paul
All India Christian Council
Encl: Pls see below:
India Supreme Court Drops all Charges Against World's Largest
Catholic Retreat Center Humiliating raids carried out by police,
sick subjected to "tortuous harrassment"
By John Jalsevac
KERALA, India, April 8, 2008 (LifeSiteNews. com) - For several years
the world's largest Catholic retreat centre has had a cloud hanging
over its head. In 2006 an anonymous letter sent to the High Court of
Kerala accusing the Divine Retreat Centre of sexual abuse, the
violation of foreign exchange regulations, and suggesting
that "unnatural deaths" had occurred at the centre, set in motion an
extensive police investigation into the centre.
The director of the Divine Retreat Centre, Fr. Augustine Valooran,
has said that the several-years-long police investigation amounted
to nothing more than ongoing "harassment" that interfered with the
centre's spiritual and charitable work.
"We, at Divine Retreat Centre, the world's largest Catholic Retreat
Centre located in Kerala, India, had welcomed the investigation and
have been giving it our full cooperation," he said in a recent
statement. "However, we had no inkling of what was to come. The
police team began to harass us and disturb the smooth functioning of
the daily services of our retreats.
"We were especially shocked by the humiliating manner in which the
police raids were carried out in the Centre on 30 September and 01
October 2006. What pained us the most was the way the sick were
subjected to torturous harassment. Even the AIDS patients and the
mentally challenged were not spared! We were deeply grieved at this
Just before Easter, however, Fr. Vallooran, released a statement
announcing that the Supreme Court had ruled that all of the charges
agains the Centre should be dropped. The court also ruled that
anonymous tips should not be used to initiate "suo motu"
("on its own motion") investigations of the sort that the retreat
centre was subjected to by the High Court.
In 2006 and 2007 LifeSiteNews. com managing director, Steve
Jalsevac, and editor-in-chief, John-Henry Westen, each visited the
Divine retreat centre. What they both found was an astonishingly
vibrant faith community that was not only promoting the authentic
Catholic Christian faith with unapologetic vigor, but that was also
taking care of thousands of the sick, including innumerable AIDS
patients. Every week, year round, anywhere from 15,000 to 40,000
people attend a retreat and with all participants housed and fed by
However, what they also discovered is that, despite the internal
strength and fervor of India's Christian community, it is still a
minority, and is subject to disapproval and persecution from the
larger majority of Muslims and Hindus in the country. In many parts
of India anti-conversion laws have been put in place that prevent
Christians from even attempting to engage their non-Christian
neighbors in discussions about the faith.
There have been a number of cases in recent years where Christian
missionaries have been detained or arrested simply for attempting to
share their faith with non-Christians. Such a case occurred in 2006,
when police detained four Missionaries of Charity
(MC) nuns on charges of attempting to convert people when the nuns
visited a government-run hospital in the southern state of Andhra
In the recent ruling, Justice S. H. Kapadia and Justice B. Sudershan
Reddy quashed all of the charges leveled against the Divine Retreat
Centre. But they also went further, criticizing the circumstances
that began such an extensive and fruitless investigation based upon
nothing more than an anonymous and unsubstantiated letter. "Setting
the criminal law in motion is fraught with serious consequences,"
wrote the justices. "The High Court cannot direct investigation by
constituting a special investigation team (SIT) on the strength of
Justice Reddy criticized the High Court for becoming "embroiled in
the passions of the day." "History teaches us that the independence
of the judiciary is jeopardized when courts become embroiled in the
passions of the day and assume prime responsibility to resolve the
issues which are otherwise not entrusted to it by adopting
procedures which are otherwise not known."
"There is heavy duty cast upon the constitutional courts to protect
themselves from the onslaught unleashed by unscrupulous litigants
masquerading as public interest litigants. The individual judges
ought not to entertain communications and letters personally
addressed to them and initiate action on the judicial side."
Fr. Valooran, however, observed that there has been a positive
outcome to the several-year-long investigation. "The verdict has
helped to bring to light the true facts about the great humanitarian
service carried out by the Retreat Centre," he said, "bringing great
peace of mind and spiritual consolation to millions especially the
sick and the suffering. The verdict is welcomed as recognition of
the charitable works of the Catholic Church as a whole."