Author Topic: The confession/ rape scandal in Kerala  (Read 743 times)

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Offline Iconodule

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The confession/ rape scandal in Kerala
« on: July 27, 2018, 09:38:13 AM »
Does Mor or anyone else here know anything about what's going on?

Some recent articles:

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/abolish-confessions-women-s-panel-on-kerala-church-sex-scandals-1297786-2018-07-27
https://indianexpress.com/article/india/kerala-church-sexual-abuse-confessions-by-women-should-go-says-ncw-5278514/

I don't know anything about the Indian press, so I can't parse if something is tabloid silliness or not.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: The confession/ rape scandal in Kerala
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2018, 01:47:00 PM »
Does Mor or anyone else here know anything about what's going on?

Oh, do I...  :P

I can’t get into it right now, but I’ll read the articles and opine later.  If I don’t, PM me a reminder.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: The confession/ rape scandal in Kerala
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2018, 02:04:00 PM »
Thanks. A side question: I noticed the head of BJP in Kerala, presumably a Christian, weighing in on this. My understanding is that, nationally, BJP is a militant Hindu nationalist movement. How much support do they enjoy among Christians, in Kerala or elsewhere?
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When a time revolts against eternity, the only thing to set against it is genuine eternity itself, and not some other time which has already roused, and not without reason, a violent reaction against itself.
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Offline Alpha60

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Re: The confession/ rape scandal in Kerala
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2018, 02:14:37 PM »
Thanks. A side question: I noticed the head of BJP in Kerala, presumably a Christian, weighing in on this. My understanding is that, nationally, BJP is a militant Hindu nationalist movement. How much support do they enjoy among Christians, in Kerala or elsewhere?

Indeed, this question has been pressing on my mind to a large degree.
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: The confession/ rape scandal in Kerala
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2018, 02:22:01 PM »
So worshipping children is fine, but confession makes them worry about mental health? Fly a kite.
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Offline Vanhyo

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Re: The confession/ rape scandal in Kerala
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2018, 04:34:16 PM »
I find it very suspicious that their aim is to ban confession, instead of arresting the abusers.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2018, 04:35:16 PM by Vanhyo »

Offline Sethrak

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Re: The confession/ rape scandal in Kerala
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2018, 10:17:31 PM »
The problem of rape in India is endemic ```

Sethrak, you've been spoken to multiple times now about how to use the various fora.  This comment is way out of bounds for this forum.  It is incendiary, to say the least, and does not belong here.  You've received a 25% warning for both the nature of the comment as well as for repeatedly misplacing your posts. 
If you'd like to appeal this decision, please PM Dominika, global moderator.

Thanks,
-Ainnir
« Last Edit: July 28, 2018, 03:34:50 PM by Ainnir »

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: The confession/ rape scandal in Kerala
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2018, 11:51:09 PM »
So worshipping children is fine, but confession makes them worry about mental health? Fly a kite.
this was to talk about mental health, obviously there are far worse examples as for physical
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

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Offline Sethrak

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Re: The confession/ rape scandal in Kerala
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2018, 10:54:37 AM »
Hummmmh ```

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: The confession/ rape scandal in Kerala
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2018, 01:11:11 PM »
Does Mor or anyone else here know anything about what's going on?

I'm going to preface this by saying that there are probably Indians lurking here who know more than I will present and may contribute after I do.  I value their contributions because a big part of the problem with things "over there" is that it's hard to determine from the media coverage what's fact and what's tabloid fodder or spin.  Generally, I find it useful to take it all, sift through it, and come to my own conclusion.

The story as I heard it originally was that there was a woman who had a consensual affair with a priest sometime before her own marriage.  After she married her current husband, she went to confess to her parish priest before the baptism of her child, and in the course of the confession is said to have confessed the affair with the first priest.  Her parish priest is supposed to have threatened to reveal this information to her husband unless she would enter into a sexual relationship with him, which she did in order to protect her marriage and the first priest.  At some point, she may have revealed this in confession to other priests, who decided to take their cue from the second priest and get in on the action (in total, five priests were said to be involved).  Eventually, this was discovered by the husband; he confronted her about a confirmation email concerning a hotel bill his wife paid in a town hours away from where she was supposed to have been that particular day.  She told him everything, and he is supposed to have gone to the bishop who did not take what he believed to be appropriate action.  Then he went to the Catholicos, who is said to have immediately suspended them all pending investigation.  The husband revealed his version of events by phone to someone who was recording it unbeknownst to him; that audio promptly made it into the media and then all hell broke loose.     

Out of the five priests, one was exonerated of the charges, which means there was at least one false accusation.  I don't think that fact should be dismissed, but it is nevertheless true that there seems to be enough reason to suspect the other four that they are not only under ecclesiastical but criminal investigation.

My sense is that people within the Church are mostly interested in the salaciousness of the story and less about the alleged abuse of the sacrament.  While I don't make excuses for sexual immorality, I know enough about the weakness of human beings to know that things happen, and when they do, they need the opportunity to repent and heal in peace.  The allegation that really bothers me is the abuse of the seal of confession.  If true, the priests ought to be deposed.  If they are found to have broken any civil laws, they should be held accountable for that.  The Catholicos sent out an encyclical letter a couple of weeks ago which assured the faithful that they are working with the civil authorities, the matter will be investigated thoroughly, and appropriate action will be taken. 

But part of a proper investigation is evaluating the integrity of the witnesses, and there is reason to suspect that the woman's account and/or her husband's is not entirely without inconsistencies, complications, or ulterior motives.  I already mentioned the one false accusation, for example, but there are other issues; these also need to be investigated.  But will they?  The court of public opinion has already decided that the priests are guilty, the woman is both a victim and a whore, and her husband is some innocent lamb.  If the truth of the facts doesn't coincide with that narrative, I'm not sure who will have the courage to confront that.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: The confession/ rape scandal in Kerala
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2018, 01:14:04 PM »
Thanks. A side question: I noticed the head of BJP in Kerala, presumably a Christian, weighing in on this. My understanding is that, nationally, BJP is a militant Hindu nationalist movement. How much support do they enjoy among Christians, in Kerala or elsewhere?

I really can't say, I'd defer to other Ind-OCNetters. 

Offline augustin717

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Re: The confession/ rape scandal in Kerala
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2018, 01:15:23 PM »
That lady should have been an Indian matushka. Just saying.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: The confession/ rape scandal in Kerala
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2018, 01:19:29 PM »
I find it very suspicious that their aim is to ban confession, instead of arresting the abusers.

Yes, this is actually a good point.  A lot of the media coverage and popular agitation aims at changing the religion or abolishing ancient religious practices rather than dealing with the abusers as abusers, and a lot of it is coming from outside the Church or from non-Christians.  In a country where sexual abuse of women is not the sole domain of one religion, why is the Christian minority getting so much of the attention, particularly when Hindu nationalists are in power?

Again, I'm not dismissing the original story, but it's being used to attack Christianity, and Christians are helping them do it. 

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: The confession/ rape scandal in Kerala
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2018, 01:20:12 PM »
The problem of rape in India is endemic ```

Fixed it ~~ for you ```

Offline surajiype

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Re: The confession/ rape scandal in Kerala
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2018, 10:55:59 AM »
One of the 4 priests is not accused of rape but of attempted blackmail by threatening to circulated morphed obscene images of the woman in question on Watsapp.

2 of the priests went to the Supreme Court and through an in-camera hearing have been protected from arrest till a judgement is issued by the court on their bail plea. That the court reserved its order and has not issued a judgement yet is almost extra-ordinary, considering the times we live on. Taking cue from the SC, one of the priests already under arrest has been granted bail from the High Court. My feeling is that the SC saw something which forced it to reserve orders without perhaps setting a precedent that might be misused in other sexual abuse cases. But this is just my reading of the situation.

At this point too difficult to know what is true and what is not. Certainly to imagine that multiple priests acted in this way is almost unimaginable to me. I know a few bad apples among clergy, but haven't met anybody of a criminal bent of mind. 

Feeling of most people is that if any priest is guilty, he must be deposed and law should take its course. Better to be rid of the garbage once and for all.   

Of course media really likes to play up allegations of sexual impropriety among Christian clergy, a Catholic bishop of the Latin church (but belonging to the Syro-Malabar rite of Kerala) was accused of rape concurrently, so sort of open season.

« Last Edit: July 29, 2018, 10:59:48 AM by surajiype »

Offline Alpha60

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Re: The confession/ rape scandal in Kerala
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2018, 07:56:02 AM »
I find it very suspicious that their aim is to ban confession, instead of arresting the abusers.

Yes, this is actually a good point.  A lot of the media coverage and popular agitation aims at changing the religion or abolishing ancient religious practices rather than dealing with the abusers as abusers, and a lot of it is coming from outside the Church or from non-Christians.  In a country where sexual abuse of women is not the sole domain of one religion, why is the Christian minority getting so much of the attention, particularly when Hindu nationalists are in power?

Again, I'm not dismissing the original story, but it's being used to attack Christianity, and Christians are helping them do it.

I would note also in the context of this that the priests of the BJP’s presumably preferred religion, the Brahmins, have had their own share of scandals of late (the Brahmin who cracked the skull of a Dalit boy who entered a Hindu temple seeking candy) and also I think it was only recently that some “traditional sacraments” which were truly vile, namely, Naga Puga (am I spelling that right?  Do you know what I’m talking about?) were banned.  The aforesaid rite consisted of nude prebuscent girls entering Hindu temples in some regions for some sort of dedication ceremony presided over by the Brahmins.  In mentioning this I am of course not seeking to deprecate the pure evil horror of what the aforesaid Orthodox clergy are alleged to have done, which if true warrants maximum civil and ecclesiastical penalty, but rather, it seems to me that the BJP itself if it wanted to use this as anti-Christian propaganda has plenty of instances of Hindu clergy, and also various gurus and saddhus, doing things which are equally beyond the pale.

As Christians, I fear that no matter where we are, in this era, the sacred scripture traditioned to us by the fathers does provide us ample forewarning that we will be judged to a higher standard, and we will also suffer false accusations and calumny.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2018, 07:57:28 AM by Alpha60 »
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

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Offline Iconodule

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Re: The confession/ rape scandal in Kerala
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2018, 11:06:40 AM »
Thanks Mor and Surajiype for the info.
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Offline WPM

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Re: The confession/ rape scandal in Kerala
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2018, 01:32:12 PM »
Sseems like a confrontation
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Offline IreneOlinyk

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Re: The confession/ rape scandal in Kerala
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2018, 01:22:26 PM »
Has there been an update on the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Kerala sex abuse story?

I am asking because there was an article in today's WP about the nun who accused the RC bishop  of Rape

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2018/09/14/nun-vs-bishop-rape-scandal-rocks-indias-catholic-church/?utm_term=.b9a042fb4d79