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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 113

Bishop de Chickera stages Eucharist stunt with Wanni wine

After blasting “majoritarianism” (read: Sinhala Buddhists) in his recent pastoral address to the Diocesan Council of the Church of Ceylon, the Anglican Bishop Dulip de Chickera is now celebrating Eucharist with wine produced from Tiger territory.

He shocked his parishioners when he told them that the wine they were drinking was fermented in Kilinochchi from the grapes that were grown in Wanni. He announced this after serving them the Wanni vine for three consecutive mornings at the cathedral without letting them know. Some parishioners said that this underhand act was done fearing that some delegates would have objected to it if they had known beforehand. One parishioner asked: “Bishop de Chickera is the first to cry that the Wanni people don’t have food. Is he doing a Marie Antoinette offering wine to people who don’t have food?”

Another parishioner criticized Bishop de Chickera’s move to surreptitiously supply the wine from Wanni as a as a tasteless political stunt to boost the image of Prabhakaran as a peace-loving wine grower. He was also upset that the Bishop had initially kept it a deep dark secret from the island-wide representatives who had gathered in Colombo for the annual sessions of the Diocese.

A non-Christian commented that the Church has an unsavoury reputation of promoting the beastly poliitcs of Prabhakaran. He added that this act has confirmed that Bishop de Chickera has turned into a partisan political activist hiding behind his priestly robes.

One of his predecessors, Bishop Kenneth Fernando, was another activist who hit the headlines when he returned from Wanni and declared: “Prabhakaran is a humane person.” He too shocked the Anglican community with this statement disputed by all religionists and human rights activists.

After plying his parishioners with Wanni wine Bishop de Chickera boasted: “We now intend to distribute the wine from Kilinochchi to our churches throughout the country to be used for the Eucharist, and that is a challenge.”

Bishop de Chickera has not explained how this distribution of Wanni wine, which would go to fill the coffers of the Tigers, would help Christianity or communal harmony.

- Asian Tribune -

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