Saji Thomas, Bhopal
Updated: November 23, 2020 05:00 AM GMT
Bishop Basil Baskey of Chotanagpur has been reinstated by the Church of North India. (Photo: Anglican Ink)
The Protestant Church of North India (CNI) has reinstated a bishop three months after it laicized him for breaking away and declaring his diocese autonomous.The CNI synod, the church's top decision-making body, on Nov. 19 decided to revoke its decision to laicize Bishop Basil B. Baskey of Chotanagpur Diocese in eastern India's Jharkhand state.The synod on Aug. 11 removed Bishop Baskey from office and withdrew his ordination as a priest and a bishop after an internal probe found the bishop guilty of acts of revolt and indiscipline. "The synod has revoked its Aug. 11 decision and agreed to reinstate Bishop Baskey as the bishop of Chotanagpur Diocese," said Suresh Jacob, a senior member of the synod executive committee."Bishop Baskey will continue to be the bishop of Chotanapur Diocese as the synod has withdrawn all the actions taken against him" at a meeting in New Delhi, Jacob told UCA News.Jacob said the bishop's laicization had divided pastors in the diocese, with some revolting against the bishop, who refused to leave the official residence, but some supporting him. After some time, the bishop and some pastors appealed to the CNI moderator for reconciliation."The moderator accepted the appeal and constituted a three-member reconciliation team. The team met the pastors and the bishop in Ranchi and agreed that both sides would not take any vindictive stand against each other," said Jacob, a member of the reconciliation team.
It followed a special synod meeting at the CNI headquarters in New Delhi on Nov. 19 that decided to revoke action against the bishop."Bishop Baskey was reinstated with retrospective effect in a small prayer session" at the CNI headquarters after the synod, Jacob said.