Kannur: The ‘Indian Express’ reports that the Catholic Church, last month, have set up a Sena composed of former military and paramilitary men called the Gabriel Sena. The Church maintains that the Gabrielle Sena will be used for ‘crowd control’.
The Sena was launched by the Archdiocese of Thalassery in Kannur and is set to hold its first meeting at Taliparamba in Kannur on 15 November.
Interestingly, the rise of Gabriel Sena comes amid controversies against the Church by both the laity and also the general public. Priests and Bishops are embroiled in sexual assault cases and financial frauds. The names of Bishop Franco Mulakkal in the sexual assault of a nun had shook the faith in the clergy by a section of the people belonging to the Catholic Church.
Recently, the church members had taken a march towards the Archdiocese of Ernakulam demanding the resignation of Cardinal George Alencherry, who is involved in a land row.
However, Gabriel Sena director Father Mathew Ashariparambil said that the services of the military personnel will be used for crowd control and added that they would become guardians of faith and warriors of ideals.
Secretary of Joint Christian Council, a body which represents the laity said, “In the present situation, where churches have been fighting among themselves for supremacy and to gain control of properties and churches, the formation of such a Sena is an alarming trend, especially if their services are used to intimidate the faithful who oppose the clergy.”
Incidentally, Gabriel is the one of the seven arch angels in service of God. He is the messenger of God and also a guardian angel. In the Bible, it was Gabriel who foretells the birth of Jesus and John the Baptist.