Kerala: Woman cremated at home as parish denies funeral

M P Leelamma (72) was cremated Sunday on the premises of her house in Uzhava in Alappuzha district.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Published:September 6, 2016 3:00 am

A Catholic woman was cremated according to Hindu traditions on the premises of her own house after her parish denied a church funeral, allegedly on the ground that the woman’s son did not attend church regularly.

M P Leelamma (72) was cremated Sunday on the premises of her house in Uzhava in Alappuzha district.

Her son, G Shiju, lit the pyre under the guidance of a priest from a local temple. Leelamma was a retired teacher, and her husband, A George, is bed-ridden.

According to Shiju, soon after his mother’s death, he approached the St Ann’s church in Uzhava to discuss the funeral. But the priest insisted that he should submit a written apology to the parish.

“I was told that I am not a regular churchgoer, hence, I should tender an apology. As I was not willing to give an apology in writing, I decided to cremate my mother as per Hindu tradition. My mother used to attend mass every Sunday,’’ said Shiju.

The priest, Fr P A Antony, said that Shiju had been staying away from the church for quite some time. It was his
stubbornness that led to the denial of funeral at the church cemetery, he added.