Church probe into claims of sexual abuse by 5 priests

According to the complainant, the details revealed during a church confession made by his wife to one of the priests were used by the priest and the others to intimidate and sexually exploit her.

The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Kerala, under fire over the alleged sexual abuse of a married woman by five of its priests, on Tuesday said an internal probe into the charges was underway.

The Kottayam-headquartered Church had earlier removed the five priests from their positions pending investigation. The husband of the woman, a native of Thiruvalla in Pathanamthitta district, had complained to the church regarding the alleged abuse in May.

According to the complainant, the details revealed during a church confession made by his wife to one of the priests were used by the priest and the others to intimidate and sexually exploit her.

Three of the priests facing the allegations are learnt to be attached to the diocese in Niranam, in Thiruvalla. The victim's husband has alleged that the church failed to initiate appropriate action against the accused. He, however, has not filed a police petition regarding the abuse.

"If those who are facing the allegations are proven guilty, the church will not protect them," a brief statement issued by Church PRO P C Alias said.

The statement, which does not mention the nature of the allegations, also dismissed the "speculative" reports on the complaint. The alleged sexual abuse continued to be discussed extensively on social media.

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Church probe into claims of sexual abuse by 5 priests

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