Church settles out-of-court with Bernadette, villagers


The Catholic church in Butterworth has reached an out-of-court settlement with Bernadette, the sacristan whose services were terminated last year.

Bernadette had lodged a complaint with the Labour Department. Yesterday, she received an undisclosed amount from the Butterworth church. The 67-year-old now works at various part-time jobs outside the church.

Similarly, the Bishop of Penang reached an out-of-court settlement with the residents of a village around the St Francis Xavier’s Church along Penang Road.

The Bishop had wanted the land back. The villagers then took the matter to court.

The case ended with a consent judgment after the Bishop and the villagers reached an agreement: under the settlement, the six families agreed to leave within six months and in return they would be paid an undisclosed amount.

From these two cases … some useful lessons to be learned on how land issues should be resolved and how church workers should be treated.

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And what were the lessons learnt Anil? And by whom? The Catholic Bishop and his clergy? The Catholic Faithful? And how sure are you that the easy-living Bishop of Penang has really learnt any lessons? Did he call you to inform you this? Did you call him to check?


Basically they are squatters…So what’s the whole issue about..??
Have they been paying rent all these years…??

I think the squatters are arrogant and should just be kicked out…


Perhaps i should kick your … first moron!


Looks like the church is no different from a commercial organization, maximum profit minimum social responsibility.


Fully agree with you limko… The church should act as a guardian to the residents and the trusted land, but now they lose their morality and obligation just to make millions of profit..! The state and Church has failed the small poor community!


It is unfair to make a sweeping statement and say that the church is like a commercial organisation. Although some members of the church may have erred from time to time in handling particular issues, let us not forget the numerous unpublicized contributions of the church in uplifting marginalised groups.


santhira kumar madhavan

This case is matter of public interest even though it involves private property of a religious body. The plight of the residents was posted on youtube. A charitable trust was created and on what basis is the Church vacating the residents?

Vetri marran

Dear Anil, Can u please brief us futher regarding the St.Francis Xavier Settlement issue. Is the issue amicably settled? What is the status now?

Vetri marran

Thanks for the reply Anil. But do you have any info about ex-gratia (final settlement) which promised to the residents by the church?