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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Open Letter to Cardinal Oswald Gracias: No need to fabricate a paternity test for Bishop KA William


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The controversy surrounding the paternity allegations on the Mysuru Bishop KA William can only be debunked with a paternity test. Attempting to fabricate a paternity test to protect the image of the Catholic Church because of the likelihood of a scandal is unbecoming and a sad act of a Catholic Church leader.

The Catholic Church professes and preaches about truthfulness. The devil is the father of lies, is so often spoken about in sermons by Catholic clergy globally.

I was conflicted when I heard the leaked taped conversation between you and Bishop KA William. I have been following this case on the different allegations levelled on the Bishop of Mysuru for the last three-years.

I had spoken to a couple of senior Catholic Church leaders seeking guidance over the matter before I decided to express my disappointment and expose the facts in the case. The Church leaders advised me to show wisdom in my view and not expose the facts of the case because the bishop was a man, he could make a mistake in a moment of weakness and we should not punish the Catholic Church for his mistake. One laity representing the Catholic Church even raised concern over the phone of the Cardinal and Bishop being tapped.

I prayed over some of this advice and some amount of cynicism that was given to me. I decided to let wisdom guide my path to show the truth.

Wisdom is not in defaming the Catholic Church, that will never ever be my intent but it will bear on my conscience and my duty to humanity; and my fellow believers in the Catholic Church, if I did not show the truth.

A clergy, in this case a Bishop of the Catholic Church allegedly fathering a child did not strike me as criminal in nature because to me as a journalist the violation of the Indian law is a crime. The violation, in my eyes, is purely under the canonical laws of the Catholic Church administered by the Vatican. The criminality of the act would be if Bishop William failed to fulfil his duty as a parent of the child and in his responsibilities to the woman with whom he has fathered the child.

Bishop KA William is a man of questionable character. There are several allegations levelled by concerned priests and parishioners against the bishop. Some of the allegations are abuse of office, immoral, criminal and nefarious activities; false statements; questionable money transfers; unaccounted money received, soliciting foreign funds and dubious expenditure. When these issues were raised with you, Cardinal Gracias, your spokesperson Fr. Nigel Barret told certain sections of the media that the Cardinal has no jurisdiction to initiate any action against the bishop, since most charges against the bishop were criminal in nature. It is for the police and the state to deal with them.”

The Catholic Church in India recently witnessed another questionable Bishop Franco Mulakkal who was accused of sodomising and raping a 44-year-old nun 13 times over a period of two-years. A court in Kerala acquitted him of the rape allegations but the victim and her supporters will continue to fight the case in higher courts of the country and not stop its fight for justice. Shockingly, you reveal in your conversation with Bishop KA William about the role you played in crisis managing for the Holy See in the Bishop Franco Mulakkal case and you even reveal that you could not save Bishop Franco from the crisis he put himself and the Catholic Church into. In your conversation, you stated, “We could have saved all the pain and anguish and suffering for him (Bishop Franco) if they had listened to me earlier. I can’t save Franco now.”

The case of Bishop KA William is yet another case that will raise more questions about the integrity, credibility and truthfulness of the Catholic Church in India and its clergy. It could be completely coincidental that four priests of the 37 priests who filed a complaint about the corruption of Bishop William died, mysteriously according to the allegations of some of the other priests who complained about Bishop William.

In your conversation with Bishop William, you admit that you are acting on behalf of the Holy See. It leads me to question the reason behind the Holy See (Vatican) directing you, just like in the Bishop Franco Mulakkal to intervene. You give confidence to Bishop William that the paternity test will be fabricated because the paternity test will be done at a Catholic Church controlled hospital St John and you even speak of managing the media.  This is what you reveal in your conversation with Bishop KA William that is now leaked globally.

That Bishop KA William fathered a child is not a concern that troubles me, if he does his duty as a biological father and not just a spiritual father, it will not be considered a crime in the eyes of the laws of India. His betrayal is to his commitment to the vows of his ordination and that is between the Catholic Church, people of his parish and God.

I am however, most disturbed by your action rather than his. You are a cover-up artist for the Holy See. In the sodomy of a young boy by Fr Lawrence Johnson case, you tried hard to cover up the truth but justice prevailed. Today, Fr Johnson is serving life sentence for his heinous crime. The heartbroken family knocked on your doors for justice but you turned deaf, dumb and blind to the truth. You preferred to protect the Catholic Church and not the child who was raped by the Fr Johnson.

The mother of the sodomised boy after the court judgement stated, “Jesus has answered her prayers for Christmas. Courts gave the punishment today but I held him the very day he committed the crime and he confessed to the crime kneeling down in front of me. My faith in the people who manage church is broken but my faith in Jesus is unshakable.”

‘My faith in the Catholic Church has broken but my faith in Jesus in unshakable’ – with each passing day in India and globally people are losing faith in the Catholic Church because it is the Catholic Church leaders who are more interested in protecting the institution built of bricks and mortars, but not the temple where God resides – that is in the heart of human. Every day newspaper reels run dry globally exposing corruption, sexual abuse of minors, laity and nuns by the clergy.

The conversation that happened on August 15, 2020 between you and Bishop William is a conversation of crisis management. But it is also a conversation of the manipulations that the Catholic Church can undertake to protect a Church leader and claim it is protecting the Catholic faith.

I can only pray that you find the courage to stand for the truth and by the truth because that is what Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life”.

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