Diocesan-level inquiry into sexgate'

Church statement says it will not venture to protect guilty or penalise innocent.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Malankara Orthodox Church has set in motion “a process of clear, precise, impartial and detailed inquiry in line with the Church laws, at the diocesan level, into (sexual) allegations against a few priests. The statement issued by the church on Tuesday said prompt action would be taken against the priests if their guilt is proven. The church will not venture to protect them if they are found to be guilty or penalise if they are innocent.

The Church would ensure that those who raised the allegation got ample opportunity to substantiate their charges and the accused the opportunity to prove their innocence. But, the Church said, the tendency to spread rumours and speculations was not right. The church shares the concern of the faithful and the rest of the society on this. “We would also take steps to encourage the clergy to serve the faithful in their ministry, committed to values and on the basis of absolute dependence on the Almighty”, the statement said.

When asked, the church spokesperson, Prof P. C. Elias told DC that he would not divulge details of the ongoing inquiry because he was not authorized to do so. The inquiries would be done by church officials appointed by the respective metropolitans of the three dioceses of Tiruvalla, Pathanamthitta and Delhi. Meanwhile, the audio clip circulating on social media bared anguished requests by the husband of the wronged woman to end the practice of the confessional, which has become a platform for exploitation.

The husband says he has packed off his wife home but he wants the priests, both named and unnamed, to be defrocked. If the church refuses to heed his cries for justice, he would go public with telltale evidence. “These new guys in robes are degenerate… some of them are close to bishops, so what fairness can we expect in the given context”, the husband is heard on the audio clip.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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