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Kerala sex scandal: Catholic Church removes two priests on charges of sexually abusing a woman

The diocese public relations office said these two priests have been suspended pending a probe due to grave charges of misconduct. Both have been banned from discharging priestly duties. Action has been initiated against Fr Mullappally when allegations came to fore against him.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Published: June 18, 2020 9:08:32 am
Kerala sex scandal, Kerala news, Kerala catholic church, Kerala church removes two priests, Church sources said both priests abused a young mother at a parish in the diocese where they worked in the recent years. (AP/Representational)

Rocked by another sex scandal, Catholic Church in Kerala has removed two priests from the ministry on charges of sexually abusing a woman. The priests removed are Fr Mathew Mullappally and Joseph Poothottal belonged to the arch-diocese of Thalassery in Kannur district.

The diocese public relations office said these two priests have been suspended pending a probe due to grave charges of misconduct. Both have been banned from discharging priestly duties. Action has been initiated against Fr Mullappally when allegations came to fore against him.

Earlier, the victim had complained to diocese auxiliary bishop Joseph Pamplani against the priests, but the disciplinary action came only a confessional audio of one the priests came out in social media. Embarrassed by the expose, the diocese allowed the priest to go into hiding.

Church sources said both priests abused a young mother at a parish in the diocese where they worked in the recent years. Fr Mullappally approached the woman, realizing that she had been close to his predecessor Fr Poothottal. Both had repeatedly abused the woman at the parsonage at the parish. When the woman complained to the Bishop, the church refused to take action for want of evidence. However, recently an audio clip of confessional statement made by Fr Mullappally to a layman who was privy to the sex scandal came out, making things tough for the clergy. The layman was also reportedly close to the woman and allegedly tried to blackmail the priest.

Last month, the diocese of Idukki had removed Fr James Mangalasseri after several videos of his sexual affair with a housewife came out in social media. It was alleged that the priest had recorded his private moments with the woman in his mobile phone, which accidently went into the hands of a few parishioners.

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