Indian priest’s death in Scotland: Bishops urge government to aid probe

The CBCI has mourned the death of Father Martin Xavier

By Matters India Reporter

New Delhi: The Catholic bishops of India have urged the country’s external affairs minister to facilitate a probe into the mystery surrounding the death of a Catholic priest in Scotland.

A Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) June 26 message says the apex body of the Church in the country “is deeply saddened at the tragic death of Fr. Martin Xavier.”

The body of Father Xavier was found on a beach in Scotland’s Edinburgh on June 22, three days after the priest from Kerala went missing.

The 33-year-old Carmelite of Mary Immaculate cleric had served as the pastor of a parish under the Diocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh in Scotland since October 2016.

The CBCI message, signed by the conference’s deputy secretary general Monsignor Joseph Chinnayyan, says it has requested the India’s External Affairs to “facilitate the probing into the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of Fr. Martin.”

It also says the conference shares the “grief of deceased family in Alleppey and pray for the repose of the departed soul.”

The priest, who was ordained in 2013, had gone to Scotland last year to do doctorate from the University of Edinburgh.

Meanwhile reports from Scotland indicate that the autopsy would be conducted only on June 27 as the body was found on a weekend.

Political leaders from Kerala have asked the federal government to bring the priest’s body to India for burial.

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