Another incident of sexual abuse of a woman by Christian priests has come into light. As reported in Indian Express, The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Kerala on Monday sent five priests on leave after they were accused of blackmailing and sexually abusing a married woman over a few years.
The church’s working committee member and priests’ trustee Father M O John said an inquiry panel had been formed to look the allegation against the five priests, who were working with the parishes under four diocese of the Kottayam-headquartered church. One of the priests belong to Delhi diocese of the church.
Interestingly, those five priests have been asked just to stay away from their priestly duties and functions as head of parishes. They have not been suspended as told by Fr John. (later suspended as tweeted by ANI)
Kerala: Malankara Orthodox Church has suspended five priests after a man complained that his wife was sexually abused by the priests. Church has directed the concerned diocese to probe the case
— ANI (@ANI) June 26, 2018
So Church law is above a Nation's law. Who gives the right to the Church to conduct an inquiry on priests accused of sexually abusing a woman through blackmail? These men should be in jail and the Kerala Police should be investigating this matter not the Church! https://t.co/NA4XELdRAq
— Savio Rodrigues 🇮🇳 (@PrinceArihan) June 27, 2018
In a letter to the church, the woman’s husband alleged that his wife’s confession to one of the priests, supposed to be kept a secret under church rules, was used to blackmail her. The complainant mentioned eight persons in the letter to the church, but sought action against only the five priests.
In an audio clip, purportedly between the woman’s husband and another official from the church that was leaked in social media a few days ago, the complainant was heard saying: “A priest had abused her (his wife) before the marriage. Later, when she confessed the pre-marital affair, that priest (who heard the confession) exploited her, threatening that he would reveal everything to me. Again, that priest handed over her to another priest, blackmailing her using the photographs.’’
Shockingly, the woman’s husband has been facing pressure from even celebrities within the church to withdraw the complaint. Fr John, however, said the complaint did not deserve a police probe. “In the complaint, the husband said one priest had abused his wife 380 times. Then, what they were doing until the figure reached 380. That is why the husband was not keen to move a police complaint,” he said, adding there was no substance in the allegation that the woman was trapped during confession.
However, as told by Fr John, the woman had a relationship with one of the priests in her teenage years. Another priest had an affair with the woman when he had worked in her parish, while the woman had affair with the third priest during their college days.
It seems like this case has also slipped out of notice of feminists and liberals who are otherwise ready to blame the whole of community and culture if the criminal belongs to the majority community. The facts and narratives of this case did not match the expectations for uproar by them.
As reported earlier in an article, there have been so many incidents about molestation of women and children by Christian priests that generally go unnoticed from large scale public debate on MSM because may be they are too secular to discussed upon.
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