A Catholic parish church in the eastern Indian state of Odisha was reopened 22 years after it was closed, said a report from Matters India.
The Chandiput parish church in the Diocese of Berhampur was closed after a priest refused to accept his transfer and stayed on, defying the local bishop.
On February 2, the parish celebrated its feast with a Mass in the reopened church.
“It was a moment of great joy to celebrate Mass in the church,” said Father Kabiraj Bastaray, the current parish priest.
He was appointed parish priest in 2013, but could not enter the church as its former priest refused to vacate the place.
“I have been staying in a house offered by the villagers and offering Mass in an open space or in the convent,” he said.
The former parish priest who was appointed in 1996 was later transferred, but declined to accept it. He did not leave the parish and did not allow the new priest to enter the church.
In 2012, the diocese appointed Father Promod Nayak as the Chandiput priest.
Read full story on Matters India