NEW DELHI (CNS) — Police in southern Kerala state arrested a 48-year-old priest and charged him with rape of a minor after a teen girl in his parish delivered a baby.
Civil rights activists alerted authorities, who questioned the girl, leading to the arrest of Syro-Malabar Father Robin Vadakkancheril, vicar of St Sebastian’s Church in Kottiyoor.
The Mananthavady Diocese barred the accused priest from performing priestly duties. On Feb. 28, the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council reiterated that the church has a “zero tolerance” policy on deviant sexual behavior of clergy.
“The church will not make any attempt to protect the accused (priest). The church will cooperate with the investigation,” Father Varghese Vallikkatt, deputy secretary general of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council, told Catholic News Service from Cochin Feb 28.
“The church has to be vigilant and take timely action to prevent recurrence of such shocking cases,” Father Vallikkatt added.
Father Vadakkancheril was active in church media affairs, including as managing director of Deepika, a Catholic daily.
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: