Rupesh Gomes and George Miranda who were fasting against corruption in the Catholic Church in Mumbai since Sunday called off their six-day-old fast on Friday afternoon at Colaba’s Holy Name Cathedral. The duo was on a fast unto death at Mount Mary’s Basilica in Bandra where the Door of Mercy was closed since Wednesday.
Rupesh Gomes (in white shirt) been fed by his mother Savitri and George Miranda (in green shirt) been fed by his mother Jessy as they break their 6-day fast outside the Archbishop’s house in Colaba. PIC/ SURESH KARKERA
Archie Sodder from Association of Concerned Catholics (AOCC) who have been supporting the fast said, “The Archbishop’s House promised us that they will call us and address the issue we have in seven days. Rupesh and George were fed by the mothers and called off the fast at the Door of Mercy at Holy Name Cathedral.”
The group was joined by Catholic Residents Organisation for Social Service (CROSS) and more than 100 Catholics who sat outside the Bishop’s House since 11 am. “We have all come together to ask Cardinal Oswald Gracias to look into our concerns and put an end to the corruption in the church.”
Fr KT Emmanuel, Secretary to Cardinal Gracias assured the protestors and said, “Write your grievances and in seven days the cardinal will call a meeting and address them.” The group were not satisfied with that and started a campaign on change.org asking Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church to put an end to corruption in the Archdiocese of Bombay. The petition received 50 signatures within 12 hours of being posted online.
“Many of our supporters are senior citizens and not so technologically savvy. We have almost 200 signatures in our offline petition. The signatures will only increase in the days to come,” claimed Robert D’souza, a parishioner of St Joseph’s Mira Road who is a supporter of the campaign.