Former priest excommunicated
By Purushottam Nayak
New Delhi: The Catholic Church has excommunicated a former priest who founded an independent Church for India.
Jaim Kokkat was a priest of Chanda, a Syro-Malabar diocese in Maharashtra, western India. He was ordained a priest in 2000 but was suspended from priesthood four years later.
He claims to have founded his own Church namely: Indian Catholic Church. His outfit is known Sewa Samaj (service society) that has hardly any followers, says a note from Bishop Ephrem Nariculam of Chanda.
Kokkat, who has adapted the name Sewanand, is a native of Kellettumakara parish under Irinjalakuda, Syro-Malabar diocese in Kerala, southern India.
The bishop’s note says the process for laicization of Kokkat began in 2015 and he was dispensed from all priestly obligations on January 21 this year.
“Hereby I wish to inform you that Jaim Kokkat, a former priest of Eparchy of Chanda is under major excommunication as per Can. 1437 CCEO. Henceforth Jaim Kokkat is prohibited from doing all the acts of the power of Order as well as all the acts of the power of governance in the Catholic Church. Moreover he is forbidden from wearing clerical dress,” the bishop’s note says.
Chanda is a suffragan of the Latin Archdiocese of Nagpur, Maharastra, India.
The Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India supports Bishop Nariculam’s decision, says Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, the conference’s secretary general.