Friday, October 30, 2020
Home News Reports Sins of the Fathers: Savio Rodrigues writes on sexual violence in churches and other...

Sins of the Fathers: Savio Rodrigues writes on sexual violence in churches and other religious institutions

Earlier this week, we had reported how five Kerala priests were accused of sexually harassing a married woman. Savio Rodrigues, former senior Congress leader from Goa, who resigned after the Goa election debauchery today expressed his shock and disgust at fact that a police complaint hasn’t been filed.

He took to Goa Chronicles, a publication he owns, to question whether Church is above the law of the land. His column has been produced here in totality with due permission.

I am shocked and absolutely disgusted to read media report about the horrible plight of a married woman in Kerala sexually abused by five priests of Malankara Orthodox Church. The priests used details of a confession (a religious sacrament of the Church which is highly confidential) to blackmail the woman to succumb to the sexual abuse.

These priests in the eyes of the people that follow the tenets of the Christian religion are ordained ministers who are to be channels of communications and graces of God. Yet in light of this heinous crime and the shadows of the numerous cases of child sexual abuses by priests globally one is left wondering about the responsibilities of the Church to its followers.

Since knowledge of the crime, the Malankar Orthodox Church has been conducting its own investigations on the allegations of the victim. Interestingly they have decided to not inform the local police authorities of such a serious sexual crime. In fact the Church opined through its spokesperson that it was inquiring into the allegations raised against some priests through the established procedures of the Church. He further stated, that the Church is conducting a clear, impartial inquiry into the allegations.

The question I would like to raise is that in an act of sexual violence – the religious character of the perpetrators being kept aside – does the Church or any religious institution have any right to conduct an independent inquiry and not report the matter to the local police authorities. Is the Church law above the law of the nation? This is clearly the point of defiance of the Church to conduct its own investigation before reporting the matter to the local police. The Church had claimed to have suspended the priests from performance of religious duties but that act in itself is such a hogwash because the truth is that they were asked to go on leave and not suspended. The truth of the matter is that the Church has no legal authority to decide the course of action against a crime, that is the duty of the law and order machinery of the nation.

The act of the Priests of the Church conducting this internal inquiry is condemnable and they must be charged with crime of failure to report this crime and deliberately obstruct the natural course of justice. The five priests responsible for the sexual abuse of the women, if found guilty of the allegations must be tried as rapists in the nation’s court of law.

It has now been learnt through media reports that the Church has passed the buck to lodge a complaint on the victim and her family with the local police station. Spokesperson for the Church told media that what is the need for them to go to the police as they have instituted an internal committee and are conducting an inquiry; we will not protect the priests if they are found guilty but we have to complete our inquiry. If the complainant wants to go the police, she can do so. We will complete our inquiry.

The Church has been in recent past has been known to cover-up its heinous crimes of sexual abuses by priests on children and not report the matter to local police authorities – this is a global phenomenon. It appears to be a similar precedent being followed in India. The audacity of the Church to not report the matter to the local police authorities raises serious questions on whether Indian laws are applicable to the crimes committed by the leaders of the Church. So far even after media reports, the local Kerala government and police have failed to take cognisance of the sexual abuse crime.

Interestingly one of the five accused priests belongs to the Archdiocese of Delhi according to media reports. Not to long ago the Archbishop Anil Couto of the Archdiocese of Delhi raised alarm bells that India’s democracy and constitution is under threat and we need to pray for a new government. I openly question the leaders of the Church in India and Archbishop Couto what is his stand as the leader of the Church on the allegations of this heinous crime and under what law of the constitution of this country does a sexual crime against a women has to first be investigated by a Church Internal Committee and not the local police authorities. Are not human rights of this lady trampled by the keepers of God’s word? Is it now a Christian under threat from a Christian religious leader? And most importantly will they condemn the crime like they condemned the alleged attack on democracy.

I am reminded of a beautiful verse in the Holy Bible to share with the Church leaders, “Not all who say Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of God but those who do the will of God”.

Savio Rodrigues, known for his extremely forthcoming views, had earlier also slammed Archbishop who appealed to ‘save India from nationalist forces’ and has been a very vocal critic of communal propaganda by the Catholic Church.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Nikita Tomar’s murder brings under spotlight the recurring theme of unceasing atrocities committed by Muslims in Mewat: Read details

Nikita Tomar's murder for failed love jihad was not an isolated case, Mewat has become a hotbed of crime against women by Muslims

Here’s why Jammu and Kashmir does not need a law to protect their land but many other states do

In a landmark decision, the Government of India has now decided that any Indian can purchase land in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

French Churches mourn victims of Islamic terror attack while their Indian counterparts had opposed providing relief to victims of Islamic persecution

The Churches in France tolled their bells to commemorate and honour the victims of the terrorist attack in Nice.

The Hindu spreads fake news about China occupying new regions in Pangong Tso just a month after making money by publishing Chinese propaganda

The Hindu had quoted an ex-BJP MP to claim that Chinese forces have occupied finger 2 and 3 on north bank of Pangong Tso lake

Munger SP Lipi Singh’s claims shattered, CISF report says Police first opened fire against Hindus, 13 bullets fired

Munger SP Lipi Singh had earlier defended the police violence on Durga Procession attendees in Munger and claimed that Hindus had fired, not the police

AMU students, who wanted to dig ‘Hindutva ki kabar’, now protest against French President for standing up to Jihad after ‘blasphemy’ beheadings

After chanting against Hindus the students in AMU have now started a protest French President Emmanuel Macron for his remarks against Islamic terrorism

Recently Popular

‘Modi, Modi’ slogans inside Pakistan National Assembly: Here is what happened

The name of PM Modi echoed on Monday as members of Pakistan's opposition members chanted 'Modi, Modi' slogans inside Pakistan National assembly

Chinese state-run channel shows the portrait of Prophet Muhammad, netizens ask if Muslim nations will boycott China

Arslan Hidayat, an Uyghur Rights Activist, took to Twitter shared a video of a Chinese TV series on Twitter in which it was depicted that an Arab ambassador visiting China during the rule of Tang dynasty gifts a portrait of the Prophet Muhammad to the Chinese emperor.

As Pakistan minister admits role in Pulwama attack, Rajdeep Sardesai rushes to his rescue, allows him to ‘clarify’, attack India instead, NDTV follows suit

India Today and NDTV come together to rescue Pakistan minister Fawad Chaudhry after he admitted Terroristan's role in Pulwama attack

‘His legs were shivering, head was sweating fearing attack by India’: Pakistani opposition leader reveals why Imran Khan govt had released Abhinandan Varthaman

PML(N) leader Ayaz Sadiq said that Pakistani Foreign Minister had feared that India would attack Pakistan if Abhinandan is not returned

Watch: Pro-India accounts disrupt Pakistan’s anti-India online meeting on Zoom, play pro-Hindu and Indian nationalistic songs

Indic social media users caused embarrassment to Pakistani authorities and diplomats after they raided their online event on zoom

Here are ‘liberals’ who hailed Imran Khan’s benevolence for releasing Abhinandan, while he was shaking in his boots, thinking of Modi going to war

The usual suspects declared Imran Khan 'won' despite the fact that it was Indian Armed Forces that destroyed terror camps in Pakistan.
- Advertisement -

India successfully test-fires BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from a Sukhoi-30, hits target 4000 km away from the staring airbase

Earlier India had carried out successful test-firing of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from INC Chennai in Arabian Sea.

One Javed arrested under Mission Shakti in Uttar Pradesh for sending abuses and vulgar messages to a woman

The action was taken by cyber cell set up under Mission Shakti which was launched during Navratri for women and children empowerment.

Watch: Female teacher at Deobandi seminary in Islamabad beheads effigy of French President in front of children for ‘blasphemy’ against Islam

The effigy was beheaded by a female teacher in Islamabad in front of students, many of whom were children.

Watch: Three Muslims roam around dressing up like Hindu Sadhus, reveal true identity when threatened

A video has surfaced online where three Muslims clad in saffron robes are seen roaming around in an empty area

Massive Earthquake of 7.0 magnitude jolts Turkey and Greece, 4 dead

An Earthquake of magnitude 7.0 struck off the coast of western Turkey on Friday, near the Aegean Sea island of Samos

Islamabad, Pakistan: Police fire tear gas and resort to baton to prevent Islamist mob from marching to the French Embassy

Violence has erupted in Islamabad, Pakistan as anti-France protesters attempted to march towards the French Embassy.

Election Commission removes Kamal Nath from Congress star campaigner list for his ‘item’ remark for Dalit woman leader

Election Commission had pulled up Kamal Nath for his misogynist jibe against BJP candidate and Dalit leader Imarti Devi

West Bengal: 15-year-old boy beaten to death inside a police station, BJP alleges the boy beaten as parents were its supporters

The police denied that the boy was beaten to death in police station, saying he committed suicide inside the toilet

After The Hindu, Indian newspaper Hindustan Times publishes Chinese propaganda supplement amidst border standoff

Hindustan Times publishes a 4 page supplement prepared by China Daily containing propaganda material by China

Watch: Video emerges showing Sameet Thakkar being led by men with a rope, his face covered in black cloth while bringing to court

The person told us that she is well acquainted with people who personally know Sameet Thakkar and that is how she accessed the footage.

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
471,759FollowersFollow
19,500SubscribersSubscribe