Catholic priest arrested for sending “sleazy” message to teenager

Hindu radical groups accused the priest of trying to covert the girl

By Jose Kavi

New Delhi: A Catholic priest has been sent to a jail in Rajasthan for allegedly sending an obscene message to a teenage girl student of his school.

Police on April 20 arrested Father Georgish Britto, vice principal of St Anselm School in Alwar. A case was registered against him two days earlier for texting the 15-year-old ninth grader. He was arrested when he went to surrender to the police, Father Edward Oliveira, vicar general of Jaipur diocese, told Matters India on April 23.

The school is managed by the diocese of Jaipur. Alwar is some 160 km northeast of Jaipur, the state capital and the diocesan headquarters.

According to local newspapers, Alwar on April 18 witnessed a “high-voltage drama” when the girl’s parents, accompanied by members of rightwing Hindu groups went to the school demanding action against the vice-principal. The girl’s father also alleged that Father Britto had harassed him for past many days.

Senior police officials reportedly came to the school to pacify the protestors.

Local political leaders, including the legislator, arrived at the school to take stock of the situation. The school principal told cops that he was ignorant about the vice-principal’s activities.

According to the Times of India, the administration called in additional forces to keep the situation under control.

While the protestors argued with the cops; the parents accused the school of shielding their teacher.

Father Oliveira said the girl’s brother beat Father Britto on April 20.

The vicar general said Father Britto, who was ordained hardly a year ago, had counseled the girl’s family to sort out some domestic problems. The girl’s elder brother had also studied in the same school. The girl apparently developed some “infatuation” toward the young priest and used her father’s mobile to message him at night after her father went to sleep, the vicar general explained.

However, the father caught the girl chatting with the priest and complained to the police. Father Britto was arrested under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act of 2012, a stringent law to end abuses of minors.

Father Oliveira said the groups had accused the vice principal of trying to convert the girl and fondling her, besides sending lewd messages.

The vicar general said the junior priest had admitted that he only sent the message to the girl but denied other charges. “He admitted what he had done was imprudent and wrong. What has happened is very sad,” he added.

The school authorities reportedly claimed that the student had never complained about such messages.

Father Oliveira said the accused priest had to remain in jail until May 5. “We can move for bail only after that,” he added.

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8 thoughts on “Catholic priest arrested for sending “sleazy” message to teenager

  1. I’m totally lost for words here…. children are being raped and killed mercilessly by the men/boys who are animals ..
    where are the police and the court to arrest and punish them ??
    and here we have this priest who is beaten, arrested and persecuted for responding to the messsges of an infatuated girl?? Where is the justice and where are our priorities or is this another game who tricked the priest for political gains. Mind you I’m not condoning anyone’s lewd behaviour even it’s through messages but punish by all means the guilty but also punish the rapists and killers first.

  2. If the investigators are honest in finding the truth, the whole conversation needs to be retrieved. Of course then the story will be different. The defendant will become the accused. Let the truth come out. But that is unlikely as the accused is a Catholic priest and the pressure is on the police to punish him and save the real culprit.

  3. Doubtful motivation, shallow spirituality, corpulent lifestyles are a heady mix, fueled by easy access to porn.It is a challenge to both celibates and married persons, to be faithful to their respective vocations.

    A senior seminary professor once said to me that most priests are not celibate out of conviction or commitment, but rather because of lack of circumstances or fear of consequences. We need to read the writing on the wall.

  4. The matter seems to have been blown out of proportion by vested interest. The priest too provided an opportunity to them by getting extra close to non-Christians unnecessarily. Let us pray that the priest comes out of the mess safe and clean.

  5. if, the allegation about the priest is true, he and his tribe must remember that a little leaven leaveneth the whole dough!

  6. Priests have changed their life style drastically in the recent years and the authorities have closed their eyes to those aberrations creating a situation conducive to abnormalities of this sort. Celibates must live like celibates and not like film stars. They must live the life of renunciation in every aspect of their daily living. Their life style must reflect this basic attitude without which they will have nothing to offer to the society except scandals shame to the Church. Every Priest must realize that a wrong step from his part will tarnish the good name of the entire priestly clan.
    Fr. Ayilookunnel @ Seijosa, Arunachal.

  7. Allowing Catholic priests to marry or making celibacy optional will not solve the problem of people sending sleazy messages.It needs basic discipline and restraint.

  8. In these hard times faced with the Christian minority of India, the Priests have to be very vigilant and any reckless actions like this will cause them big trouble and shame to the minority Christians. The Priest did violate his divine oath, and will be answerable to the law.

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