The controversial Bishop, KA William of Mysuru, who has been alleged to be involved in serious criminal offences like rape, murder, and misappropriation of church funds has now been replaced by the Vatican after he was probed by a team of bishops appointed by the Vatican. William has been directed to “take a period of absence from the ministry”.
Bishop Kannikadass A William has been replaced by retired Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore as the apostolic administrator of the state of Karnataka. The bishop being replaced was announced on 7th January by Archbishop Felix Machado, Secretary General at the Catholic Bishops Conference of India. He stated that the Dicastery of Evangelization has appointed His Grace Most Rev Bernard Moras, Apostolic Administrator sede plena et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of the Diocese of Mysore for the ordinary administration and pastoral care of that local Church.
“The appointment became effective on 7th January”, he added.
It is noteworthy that the allegations against Bishop KA William were constantly under sharp public glare and a number of people from the church had risen their voices demanding for action against the bishop as well. As GoaChronicle has been following up on the controversies related to the bishop, it is worth recalling that back in 2020, the AOCC (Association of Concerned Catholics), had played a major role in exposing the corruption scandals of Bishop William, Archbishop Peter Machado, and 37 other priests from Karnataka.
In the same year, former justice of the High Court of Bombay, and High Court of Karnataka, Justice Michael F Saldanha, had alleged that the Archbishop of Bangalore Peter Machado, and Bishop Willian had criminally misappropriated Rs 49.50 crores collected under the head of Coorg Disaster Relief Fund in 2018.
Another major controversy revolved around Bishop William and Bombay’s Cardinal Oswald Gracias in 2022, when a phone call recording between the two got leaked, in which they could be heard discussing procuring a fabricated and false certificate of a so-called paternity test and using it officially in an attempt to falsify the unimpeachable evidence of paternity, as William had been accused of fathering a child. Justice Saldanha had written a scathing letter to the Apostolic Nuncio in India, demanding both Cardinal Gracias and Bishop William to step down.
Now, after the Vatican’s order, people from the Church who had earlier sought action against the bishop have spoken up. “The Vatican decision has proved the universal saying that truth triumphs and the Catholic Church stands for truth, justice and for the Gospel values, [and] thus never reconciles with the powers of Hades”, said Father Gnana Prakash, a senior priest of Mysore diocese.
Justice Saldanha expressed, “The hand of God has struck decisively, William has gone for good and the cleansing has begun but it will be a long process”.