The Church in Kerala is in deep trouble with Kerala High Court rejecting the anticipatory bail petitions of three Orthodox Church priests in connection with rape charges, police moving the Centre to prevent the Jalandhar Bishop facing charge of raping a nun leaving the country and another priest being booked for sexually abusing a woman.
The three priests of the Orthodox Church, Fr Jaise K George, Fr Abraham Varghese and Fr Jobe Mathews, were among the four priests accused of seeking sexual favours from a housewife on her confession of having a relationship with a priest when she was a minor.
The court today while rejecting the anticipatory bail applications was highly critical and said there was prima facie evidence against them. It also observed that the police could go ahead with the investigation and arrest the priests based on this.
In a blow to the case of the nun accusing Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal, the state police requested the Union Civil Aviation Ministry to take steps to prevent him from leaving the country. This was said to be on the basis of intelligence reports that he was planning to leave for Vatican which would help him stay away from prosecution in the case. The police is said to go to Jalandhar soon to question the Bishop.
According to the complaint of the nun, the Bishop had raped her 13 times. She had said that she had taken up the matter with Cardinal George Alencherry who denied receiving any such letter. To counter the Cardinal’s claim, she released the letters she had sent to him as also to Vatican.
Separately, another Orthodox Church priest Binu George was on Tuesday booked for sexually abusing a woman in Mavelikkara. Kayamkulam police booked him for abusing a woman who had been invited by him for helping her find solutions to some of her personal problems. The woman underwent medical examination after which the case was registered.