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Man alleges priests sexually abused wife; church orders probe

Press Trust of India  |  Kottayam (Ker) 

Some priests of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Kerala have been accused of blackmailing and sexually abusing a woman and a probe has been ordered into the matter.

The Kottayam-based church today said a "clear, impartial" probe was ordered after a man alleged some priests blackmailed and sexually abused his wife.

However, no police complaint has been lodged in the case.

The issue came to light last week after an audio clip containing the man's purported conversation with a church official alleging sexual abuse of his wife by the priests was widely circulated on social media.

The man from Pathanamthitta district alleged that some priests allegedly used his wife's secret confession to blackmail her.

However, no police complaint has been lodged in the case.

"If they are found guilty, necessary action will be taken against them... The accused will not be shielded and innocent will not be punished," the church said in a statement here.

The church said it understood the sentiments of the followers and general public over the incident but condemned rumours being spread about it.

It also said steps would be taken to persuade priests to provide value-based divine service to its followers.

Although the man, who came to know about the alleged sexual abuse and blackmailing by priests after checking his wife's e-mail account, has levelled allegations against eight priests, he has reportedly named only five priests as the role of three others in the incident could not be established.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, June 26 2018. 18:15 IST