Liquor baron’s ordination: Karnataka bishops reject it

June 29, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

The CollectionKarnataka, June 28, 2012: Son of liquor baron needs meaningful formal training to be a minister, they say.

Recent claims by the son of a liquor baron that he is an ordained minister have raised a few eyebrows among Catholic bishops in Karnataka.

Siddhartha Mallya, son of United Breweries and Kingfisher Airlines chief Vijay Mallya, recently tweeted on the social networking site Twitter that he is a certified Christian priest.

Siddhartha, who is based in the southern state, said he is now Reverend Mallya and can officiate at religious ceremonies, including weddings and funerals.

He also posted on the site a certificate he claims was from the Universal Life Church (ULC) which states he has “all rights and privileges to perform all duties of the ministry.’’

The resulting media attention prompted the Karnataka Regional Catholic Bishops’ Council to issue a statement yesterday voicing skepticism at the claims.

The bishops said the ordination of a minister required the fulfillment of certain norms.

A minister without “meaningful formal training and a deep study of the Scriptures and traditions of Christianity is unacceptable,’’ they said in the statement.

“An ordained minister is expected to live an exemplary life worthy of his calling, for he has to provide the community with guidance and God’s invocation on them,’’ they said.

However, they said “the Catholic Church rejoices when anyone accepts Jesus Christ in faith and is committed to live by His values. If becoming a member of the Universal Life Church implies this we are happy about it.”

Pointing out that the Catholic Church had a 2,000-year-old history and traditions, they cautioned that “new groups originating in our time calling themselves a ‘Church’ can be very misleading.”

SidharthaMallya, 25, who was born into a Hindu family, is expected to be the future head of United Breweries, India’s largest producer of beer.

He is a director of the Indian Premier League cricket team Royal Challengers and the Mohan Bagan soccer club.

The Universal Life Church is a religious organization that offers semi-immediate ordinations as a minister free of charge.

According to the ULC, anyone can become a minister without having to go through the pre-ordination process required by other religious faiths.

– ucan

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