Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 17 (UNI) Stating that late CPI(M) leader Mathai Chacko, MLA, was a true Marxist till his last breath, Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan today said the Church was not doing justice to the departed soul by portraying him as a believer.
''The Thamarassery Bishop's statements regarding the last sacrament of Chacko were unfortunate. The Church is doing injustice to Chacko, who was a true Marxist-Communist all his life, by portraying him as a believer,'' he said in a post-Cabinet Press briefing.
The Bishop had said that he visited Mr Chacko in an unconscious stage and had administered the last sacrament, which was contradictory, he said, adding that in this context it was not fair on the part of the Bishop to portray Mr Chacko as a believer during his last days.
Pointing out that the Left always had a friendly relation with the church, Mr Achuthanandan hoped that the Church would change its stand.
Alleging that the Church had in earlier times asked families having Communist links to bury their dead in the ''rogue's pit'', he said this attitude had changed in the recent times. The Communists were not for any conflict with the church, he added.
The sacrament issue was raised by the Thamarassery Bishop while addressing a rally organised on September eight as part of the Minorities Protection rally.
Countering this, CPI(M) State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, at a function organised to observe the first death anniversary of Mr Chacko, had reportedly used 'harsh words' while describing ''those in the church'' who had been claiming that Mr Chacko received the last sacrament in a conscious state of mind.
Mr Vijayan's statement triggered a controversy in the State, with many religious outfits and political parties, including the KCBC and the Opposition Congress, demanding a public apology from Mr Vijayan.