Kochi: Newly appointed Cardinal Mar George Alancherry, who was at the centre of a controversy over his alleged statements on the gunning down of two Indian fishermen by Marines on board the Italian vessel Enrica Lexie, today said he shared the grief of the bereaved families.
Alancherry, who heads the Syro Malabar church, was caught in a controversy over his alleged statements to a catholic News Agency 'Fides' on the shooting incident.
The cardinal, who arrived here this morning from Rome, told reporters at the airport he was with them (families) in their grief.
Asked about his controversial statement, he declined to say anything, saying clarifications had been issued by the news agency and there was no need for further controversy.
The Syro malabar spokesman here had earlier stated that the Cardinal was misquoted and he wanted the two countries to resolve the matter in a "peaceful and amicable" manner.
The spokesman had said the Cardinal had also clarified that since he was a representative of the Church, he did not want to interfere with diplomatic negotiations that were taking place between the two countries.
The two Italian Marines, who had fired at the Indian fishing boat killing two fishermen on February 15, are now in police custody after being charged with murder.
Major Archbishop of Kerala-based Syro Malabar Catholic Church Alancherry was among 22 cardinals appointed by Pope Benedict XVI at Vatican on February 18 into the collegium to select his successor.