Vice President and Presbyter of Medak Diocese, Holy Trinity Church Bolarum Rev. Avulamanda Christopher Solomon Raj. | Photo: Special Arrangement
The Secretariat of the Synod of South India in Chennai has issued orders to suspend the CSI Bishop of Medak Diocese, Rev. Solomon Raj. After investigating complaints about property, organization and financial matters.
A communication issued on behalf of CSI Moderator A. Dharmaraj Rasalam said that Solomon Raj would not perform his functions as Bishop of Medak Diocese pending the proceedings of the Synod Court.
Dornakal Diocese CSI Bishop Rev K. Padma Rao Medak was appointed Moderator Commissioner of the Diocese to oversee the day-to-day functioning.
The suspension of the Bishop of Medak Diocese caps a month-long investigation into allegations of omission and commission. CSI Medak Diocese manages 105 pastors in Telangana.
Rev. Solomon Raj’s suspension saw dramatic scenes at the Diocesan office on November 29 when Acting Bishop Padma Rao took over. The bishop in charge could not take office because he refused to hand over the office because the clergyman had not received orders. Gopalpuram police had to intervene to bring the situation under control.
At the heart of the bitter infighting among the Diocese’s clergy, sources said, are large tracts of valuable land in the Twin Cities and diocesan jurisdictions that have been making money in the name of long leases since 2004. A controversial decision was the plot of CSI Medical College at Dichpally in Nizamabad district, which was given to a private party and partly for setting up Mission Bhagiratha works.
Responding to his impeachment, the suspended bishop told the media that he opposed earlier controversial decisions of the CSI Synod, including raising the retirement age of Bishops from 67 to 70. Similarly, the refusal of certain individuals to accept the lease of some of the City’s plots of land that had received an advance also drew the ire of the higher clergy, Solomon Raj said.