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Indian cardinal denies mediating after Italian marines kill local fishermen

Catholic World News - February 22, 2012

An Indian cardinal has denied reports that he is acting as mediator in a dispute over the possible involvement of Italian marines in the death of two Indian fishermen.

The Italian marines, serving on the oil tanker Enrica Lexie, apparently mistook the two fishermen for pirates. The killings have prompted outrages in the state of Kerala.

Cardinal George Alencherry, the Major Archbishop of the Syro-malabrese Church, who was raised to the College of Cardinals on February 18, said that he was working with political leaders in Kerala to ensure that the incident was “peacefully cleared up and resolved.” Cardinal Alencherry cautioned that political leaders should not manipulate the crisis for partisan advantage.

In a later statement, however, Cardinal Alencherry said that it was inaccurate to depict him as a mediator in the situation. “This event has to be investigated and if there is a culpable action it has to be dealt with legally and the culprits have to be punished,” he said. “Truth and justice have to be established.”

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