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23 Jan 2019, Edition - 1289, Wednesday

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Kerala News

Kerala church suspends five priests over sexual abuse allegations

www.bfirst.in

Kottayam: Five Kerala priests of the Kottayam-headquartered Malankara Orthodox Church have been suspended over allegations of sexually exploiting a woman from the same church. Secretary of the Church, Biju Oommen, said the church acted as soon as they received complaint from the husband of the victim.

Oommen said the church had acted in the most “responsible manner”. Today as things stand, the five are suspects. Commission has been appointed to probe the episode. The probe is on and when the report comes, the church will again act on it,” said Oommen.

The husband said that one of the priests who first exploited his wife was blackmailing her. When she sought help on this from another priest, he too, threatened her and shared her contact with another fellow priest and in the end she came under the duress from at least five priests, the report said.

The Orthodox Church was shocked as the episode was criticized heavily on the social media which dented its image. “We are certainly worried about the huge publicity that the incident has generated and we suspect that there are vested interests who are out to malign our church on the social media,” added Oommen. The victim has not yet filed a police complaint.

SOURCE: http://www.bfirst.in/category/nation/kerala-church-suspends-five-priests-over-sexual-abuse-allegations-496113

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