National / World

‘Sex for secret:’ Malankara Orthodox Church suspends five priests


Kottayam, Jun 26 (DC): The Malankara Orthodox Church has suspended five priests following a man’s complaint that his wife has been subjected to serial sexual abuse by the clergy by exploiting her confessional secrets. The husband, hailing from Pathanamthitta, is yet to file a police compliant. The woman is a mother of two. Church spokesperson P. C. Elias told DC that all five priests have been divested of their responsibilities pending inquiry. Three priests belong to Niranam diocese, one Thumpamon diocese and another from the diocese of Delhi.

Metropolitans in respective dioceses have been assigned to distribute parish responsibilities among other priests. "We got a complaint from the woman's husband but we have no idea about the truth of the allegations. An internal inquiry will be conducted and based on its outcome, the Church would decide whether to restore responsibilities to the priests or take further action, if the allegations are found to have substance”, Mr Elias said. What triggered the suspensions has been an audio clip circulating in social media, allegedly containing the telephonic conversation between the husband and his friend.

The husband, who swears by his fidelity and commitment to the church, says details of a five star hotel bill in his wife’s mail box blew the lid off the scandal. The man confides during the conversation that a priest had coerced her into an abusive relationship and the history of abuse predated their marriage. Overcome with guilt, the woman confessed to another priest before her child’s baptism. The confessor also turned predator and shared her pictures with another priest, who also took advantage of her plight.

The video clip changed many hands within the clergy, the husband says during the conversation. The man, seething with anger over being betrayed by the very people meant to guide him spiritually, fears more priests are involved and his wife hadn’t possibly told him the full story fearing reprisals from the influential clergy. He wants the priests to be defrocked for blackmailing a believer using her confessional secrets, considered a sacrilege.

 

Comment on this article

  • John Crasta, mangaluru

    Sat, Jun 30 2018

    Any person, no matter how great he/she is safe from attack by Satan. Graces come only when we ask for it. If we have received graces without asking for it, is because we have been blessed because
    of the goodness of our forefathers. Our prayer to God “Give us this day our daily bread” is not only food for our body but also for the soul. Therefore we need to pray for some important graces such as
    a) Give of repentance
    b) Grace to forgive
    c) Grace to pray for the leadership (church, country etc.)
    d) Lord fill me with your Holy Spirit according to your promise.
    e) Lord make me worthy to live in you so that I may bear fruit etc.
    We all have the legal right to criticize anybody but as Christians we need to realize that we have no
    moral right to criticize unless we pray for them.

    May I take the liberty of suggesting to the Christians to pray the “Rosary of Liberation’ and “Chaplet of Mercy”.(Holy Wounds).These prayers are available in page 162 and 160 of the new addition of the prayer book “ Rejoice unto Him” is available at St Paul’s book shop or at any Church book shop.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • John Crasta, Mangaluru

    Sat, Jun 30 2018

    correction
    Please read "Give of repentance" as "Gift of repentance"

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Tue, Jun 26 2018

    I think there are external hand in this case. There are some external forces to defame the church and christians in Kerala working hard.

    DisAgree [15] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • richard, shirva

    Wed, Jun 27 2018

    not external hand...its internal hand of priests defame church!!

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vincent D'Souza, Belthangady

    Tue, Jun 26 2018

    Every entrant to a Seminary must understand that once he becomes a Priest, vow of Celibacy is to be "Carried to the Grave". Pope John Paul II has shut the Doors for Married Priests. No question, again emphasized by Pope Francis.

    Instead of having physical relations with Girls @ Women, defrock yourself & get married.

    Still, Heaven is open to you. How do u celebrate the Sacraments when ur carrying the dirt to the Altar? Again, Girls & women, please stay away from Traps? May God keep our Clergy Pure & Chaste?

    DisAgree [2] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alwyn, Mangalore

    Tue, Jun 26 2018

    I think Malankara Orthodox priests get married before their ordination to the priesthood.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • H A D Souza, Damoh

    Tue, Jun 26 2018

    Young boys should not join the Seminary to become priest.
    after attaining mature age and if he is called by God then only he should go for it. Otherwise it is detrimental for both priest & Church.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • NRI, GCC

    Tue, Jun 26 2018

    Really Sad, Why should secrets have to tell a stranger? Believe GOD, confess with god and feel relaxed how can a human be a mediator?

    DisAgree [3] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • cm, manglore

    Tue, Jun 26 2018

    all are human been and satan use first leader to destroy church. 1 Timothy 3 there is advise for a leader

    DisAgree [3] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Joseph F. Gonsalves, Bannur, Puttur / Mangalore

    Tue, Jun 26 2018

    The elders of the church authorities should give strict warning to be becoming deacons and there after becoming priests that if they are unable to sustain marriage of celibacy quit as a priest and marry.

    My kind request is to sustain holiness in the church. The cleanliness, purity and holiness of the church should not be maligned.


    Are you not knowing some have become impotent 's for the sake of the kingdom of God.

    My reminder to you of your responsibilities towards God and the church.

    Amen.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Robert Pais, Mangalore

    Tue, Jun 26 2018

    This story is too fantastic to be true.

    There can or are rotten apples in every society.
    Behind this story is an organized effort to malign a community. This age of fake news where people believe nonauthenticated stories and clippings and act on it, I am sure this will be the case.

    Of course the guilty priest ( one ) may be there . As is the case of swami and babas' he should face the law of the land .

    The church authorities have done the right thing in placing the accused under suspension pending inquiry. I would not be surprised if this is linked to the same group who spreads fake news about " Meat" transport issue.

    DisAgree [18] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • John, Mangalore

    Tue, Jun 26 2018

    These priests should rot in jail. Shameful acts by the so called spiritual guides.
    These should be publicly humiliated so that no other priest resorts to such misdeeds

    DisAgree [1] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jenifer, Mangalore

    Tue, Jun 26 2018

    Misuse of power/authority and taking gullible devotees for granted.

    Good decision about suspending them. Once reinstating, put them on administrative works, not for public's service.

    DisAgree [9] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Karthik Karkera, Maryhill Mangalore

    Tue, Jun 26 2018

    This is just the tip of the iceberg, the rot runs deep inside. But this is there in all Religions. Money & Power are used to cover up these acts.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [30] Reply Report Abuse

  • John Tauro, M'luru / Kwt

    Wed, Jun 27 2018

    Why reinstate them? They are not politicians serving any political party. They are men of religion who are expected to guide the flock. They must be defrocked.

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vincent Rodrigues, Bengaluru/Katapadi

    Tue, Jun 26 2018

    This tough stand is required when the priests are crossing their limits and indulge in this kind of affairs misusing the priesthood.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

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