Archdiocese suspends Kerala sex-case priest
Police charge cleric with abuse of woman he promised to marry
ucanews.com reporter, Kochi
India. November 19, 2010
An Indian priest has been suspended for allegedly abusing a woman and fathering a child
An archdiocese in Kerala has suspended a priest for allegedly abusing a woman and fathering a child.
“It is a case of sexual abuse and investigations are on. But we could not interrogate the priest since he is absconding,” Inspector General of Police B. Sandhya told ucanews.com on Nov. 19.
Verapoly, a Latin archdiocese, on Nov. 18 suspended Father Martin Kuttikatt after police registered the case against him.
An archdiocese press statement confirmed a inquiry was under way and the priest was under suspension.
The woman, a housewife, complained to the police on Nov. 2 that the priest had promised to marry her and fathered a child by her.
The police official said the 39-year-old woman comes from Njarackel, a coastal village where the priest had earlier worked as an assistant vicar.
The archdiocese and the police acted after the Kerala Latin Catholic Association, a lay organization, took up the matter.
Felix J. Pullooden, president of the association, said the woman’s husband committed suicide in 2007 when he came to know about his wife’s illicit relations with the priest.
“We had demanded Father Kuttikatt’s suspension. But the archdiocese acted only after the police registered the case,” Pullooden told ucanews.com
According to him, the priest had until recently financially supported the woman and the child, who is now more than three years old.
Pullooden said the local media had recently published CDs of a priest in “compromising position” with a female office staff member.
“So far no action is taken against him,” he said and regretted that sexual misadventures of priests and nuns are maligning the Church” in Kerala.
Church leaders were reluctant to respond to the queries and pleaded ignorance.
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