5 Kerala Priests Suspended Over Allegations Of Sexually Abusing Woman

| June 26 , 2018 , 12:59 IST

A total of 5 priests have been suspended by the Malankara Orthodox Church in Kerala on Tuesday over allegations that they blackmailed sexually abused a woman from Thuruvalla over a few years.

The Church has further directed the concerned diocese to probe the case while the church's working committee member and priests' trustee Father M O John said that an inquiry panel has been set up to look into the allegations against the 5 priests. While 4 of the priests worked with parishes under the four diocese of the Kottayam-headquartered church, the fifth priest belonged to a Delhi diocese of the church.

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“The five priests…have been asked to keep away from officiating all priestly duties and function as head of parishes. They are not under suspension. Their fate would be decided only after the inquiry report,’’ said Father John.

The complaint had been submitted to the Church by the survivor's husband who alleged that his wife was sexually preyed upon by the 5 priests after they allegedly blackmailed the survivor based on her secret confessions.

In the letter to the church, the husband of the survivor claims that his wife's confession to one of the priests, which was supposed to have been kept secret as per church rules, was used to blackmail her.

An audio clip recently went viral, which was reportedly of a conversation between the woman's husband and another official from the church.

"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," the survivor's husband allegedly said.