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Kerala diocese removes priest arrested for sex offense 

Kannur: Mananthavady diocese in Kerala, southern India, on February 28 acted severely against a priest arrested for sexually exploiting a minor girl.

Police arrested Father Mathew (Robin) Vadakkancheril three weeks after the 16-year-old school girl gave birth to a baby boy. The priest is accused of impregnating the girl who was a student of his school

“The suspension and prohibition will remain in force until the accused has undergone the prescribed legal procedures in this regard and declared innocent,” says a press release issued from the Bishop’s House said.

The bishop has suspended the priest from exercising his priestly ministry, including the celebration of the Sacraments and preaching in public, either inside or outside the diocese, the release said.

The diocese belongs to Syro-Malabar Church, largest of the two Oriental Catholic ritual Churches in India.

Reacting to the incident, the Syro Malabar Church spokesperson said, “It is an unfortunate incident. The Church has suspended him and removed him from all posts.”

The alleged offence came to light after the girl, a resident of Neendunokki in Kannur district, on February 7 delivered the child at a private hospital in Koothuparamba.

Based on information from ‘ChildLine’, an NGO, the police conducted an inquiry into the incident, the Press Trust of India agency reported.

Father Vadakkancheril was the manager of the school where the girl is an eleventh grader. She had reportedly attended classes on February 6, police sources said.

The girl was taken to a hospital after she complained of stomach pain and the doctors found out that she was pregnant. She was then taken to a hospital run by the Church where she gave birth to the baby boy.

The newborn was shifted to an orphanage without informing its mother, the sources said, adding that the girl was told that she had undergone an appendicitis operation.

To ensure that the culprit’s name was not revealed, her family was allegedly forced to name two others, including her father, for sexually exploiting her, the police said.

However, the police questioned the girl and her father and subsequently, they named the vicar of St Sebastian’s church, Kottiyoor as the accused.

Fr Robin had attended a public program on February 25 and left the place the next day, after the police lodged a case against him under sections dealing with rape and crimes against children.

The 48-year-old priest was picked up from Chalakkudy in Thrissur district Feb 27 night and brought to Kannur.

The newborn was shifted from an orphanage at Vythiri in Wayanad district to a government-run orphanage in Kannur.

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8 Responses to Kerala diocese removes priest arrested for sex offense

  1. Mathew M.V.

    Really it is a Great shame full NEWS for Catholic Community.The met Two old Priests Recently I asked them HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR PASTORAL LIFE? The Missionary Priest who is 87 years told me that he did no construct any Church or any Institutions ,HE allowed the PEOPLE to Construct their own CHURCH and Institutions.He served 10 years as a VICAR and next 10 years as an ASSISTANT VICAR till his 70. After that he is serving in a Seminary till this time .He is a Missionary . He is enjoining ONE MONTH LEAVE every year with his family Members. The next priest is very Famous Now Retired Life he was a Corporate Manager for Years and Vicar.He is saying no body is caring ,Loving,no affection , even not speaking all are avoiding when I am in Power Bishop and all priests in the Heads will ask TODAY HOW MUCH YOU COLLECTED? All

    need Money, all wants Money including relatieves ,friends. In my opinion the Priests Must GIVE ONE DAY LEAVE every week and one Month Leave for them to live with his Family.every year.LOVE,CARE,Affection,is Great.THIS WILL GIVE STRENGTH TO DO MORE. The Priests should be Transferred to Lower Posts every Ten Years and all Institutions should given to LAY PEOPLE MORE QUALIFIED Than Priests.
    The Guilty and those who are supported to be Punished. No Politics or religious Power should not interfear.We can Pray and do good .

     
  2. COL JOHN PETERS

    To me it’s no surprise.Incidents of girls being impregnated by priests has
    happened and will keep happening.Solution or cure is to allow priest to get married
    and set good example living for the parishioners
    Abolish the sacrament of confession.Take off ideas to take advantage of individuals
    by priest is sown in the act of confession.
    On judgement day ,it’s me and Christ only,the priest has no role

     
  3. Vincent Bagul

    Rev Fr James seems to have a very ‘pius’ views about journalism. This news report has appeared in other media too. A journalist can report only what has been recorded at the police station. He cannot edit or dilute the contents to suit the interested parties. Nowhere in the report, it is said that the girl believed it was an appendicitis operation. It is reported that she was told that it was an appendicitis operation. We do not know whether she believed it or not. Also, it is anyone’s guess as to why the doctors and nurses tried to fake the reality. They must have been pressurized by some powerful and influential persons in the hierarchy to maintain ‘credibility’. The misconduct came to light only some of the NGO, ‘ChildLine’. Rev Fr James is right in saying, ‘or else we lose our credibility’. But this ‘we’ is different for different people.

     
  4. diana

    It is in such difficult situations that true Christian values are put to test. Even if we can accept that a grave mistake has happened here, the church should be bold enough to bring up the child atleast in a church run orphanage if the girl’s family is unwilling to take in the baby. Such children need to experience the love of Christ atleast through other catholics (the people in the orphanage) if there is no chance of the child receiving any mercy from its mother and father which is the case here. The catholic church has to put the care of this baby under the most loving mother who can give Jesus to the little one, someone like Mother Theresa or else how will he/she grow up to forgive his/her parents. If such children grow up without experiencing real love and mercy of Jesus no wonder they turn to be rapists and criminals.

     
  5. Fr. James Pulickal sdb, Wau, republic of south sudan (Ross)

    This article should have been edited before publication or else we lose our credibility. Some of the details sound ridiculous. A girl of 16 carrying a baby for 9 months is not that stupid to believe that she has an appendicitis operation. The doctors and nurses too make themselves foolish to fake the reality.
    Thanks. sdbjim@yahoo.co.in

     
  6. Monica

    Though, such incidents are rare and few, these acts spoil the name of even good and upright priests. The lay people tend to look at all the priests as lecherous. Hence, the other priests and seminarians who must be aware of misconduct of rogue priests should report their immoral acts to the Bishop in time, in their own interest. Also, the Bishops should not shield such priests but send them out.

     
  7. K C. Thomas

    There are so many shameful things we come across. The abuse by parents,by priests,by the physicians is more shameful as they are a kind of fence protecting the innocents. The guilty has to bear the consequences as prescribed by law. The Diocese has done its part. What can we do ? Jesus said -” Only prayer and fasting can drive out this kind of spirit” ” This kind of evil spirit” is with all of us.

     
  8. Vincent Bagul

    Shameful. It is reported that in order to hide the name of the culprit priest, the girl’s family was allegedly forced to name two other persons, including her father. This is even more shameful. The police should investigate thoroughly and punish the persons misleading them and implicating innocents.

     
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