Eight Christian priests belong to the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Kerala have been accused of blackmailing and sexually abusing a housewife. The shocking news came to light after a voice clip between the woman’s husband and another man became viral on social media.
In a letter to the church, the woman’s husband, from Thiruvalla in Kottayam district, alleged that his wife’s confession to one of the priests was used to blackmail her. As per the reports, the Church sent five priests on ‘leave’ following the allegations.
“A priest had molested her before the marriage. Later, after the marriage, when she confessed this to another priest, he blackmailed her. He threatened her that he would reveal everything to me. Again, after sexually abusing her several times, the priest handed over her to another priest, blackmailing her using the photographs,’’ says the victim husband in the audio clip.
The woman’s husband was also heard saying that he has been facing pressure from even celebrities within the church to withdraw the complaint.
According to a report, the church’s working committee member and priests’ trustee Father M O John said an inquiry panel had been formed to look the allegation against the five priests, who were working with the parishes under four diocese of the Kottayam-headquartered church. One of the priests belong to Delhi diocese of the church.
Initially, the local Malayalam media tried to sweep the sex scandal under the rug. The issue has been thrust into the national spotlight following a social media outrage. Though the complainant mentioned eight persons in the letter, the church sought action against only the five priests. Despite the startling revelation, no police case has been filed over the issue so far.