Churchgoers of one of Mumbai’s oldest church St Michael’s Church in Mahim are shocked and furious after they found a CCTV camera inside the women’s washroom.They have sent a letter to the archbishop of Bombay, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, asking what the people in charge of St Michael’s Church in Mahim are trying to record them in washroom.

Mumbai Mirror reports Karen C D’Souza, vice-president of Association of Concerned Catholics, has asked in the letter, “Why are our priests of St Michael’s parish being more ridiculous by the day?… Just what are they expecting to capture on cameras? Women with their pants down or their sarees up? Are they missing out on something?” 

“This is total exposure for women… Please tell our priests to wake up and be sensitive to us ladies. We don’t want men crowding around hoping to see some live porn.”, the letter further reads.

The letter further tells that the Church might consider shutting down the washroom as no one is going to use it with a camera pointed towards them.

Advocate Joseph Sodder, who has also raised the issue with the Archdiocese of Bombay, said the installation was resulting in outraging of the modesty of women, “The footage is reviewed by men. We intend to lodge a complaint against the church and seizure of the footage,” he said.

Camera is just inside the entrance | Source : Midday

The Church in reply said that the CCTV was installed for female churchgoer’s safety and COULD be removed IF was making them uncomfortable.(Really?)

Father Simon Borges, parish priest of St Michael’s Church, told Mirror that a series of thefts prompted the security feature. “It was installed sometime back to prevent thefts. Women leave the bags outside, near the basin, before entering the toilet. We installed that to protect the ladies,” he said.

“There were no complaints (until now). If it is causing a misunderstanding and it is making them uncomfortable, we will remove it.””

This is certainly a step which invades the privacy and modesty of women, Church could have figured out a different way of tackling the thefts, installing CCTV cameras in any washroom irrespective of gender is certainly not acceptable. Action must be taken against those responsible for this move.

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