Pope suspends Kochi Bishop | india | Hindustan Times
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Pope suspends Kochi Bishop

Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday suspended Kochi Bishop Mar John Thattumkal, who is in the eye of a storm for adopting a young woman, reports Ramesh Babu.

india Updated: Oct 24, 2008 00:59 IST
Ramesh Babu

Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday suspended Kochi Bishop Mar John Thattumkal, who is in the eye of a storm for adopting a young woman. The Pope has also constituted a three-member panel to probe the charges against the bishop.

“Verapoly Arch-Bishop Father Daniel Acharuparapbhil has received a papal decree on Thursday evening. He has been asked to give give the charge to Verapoly Bishop immediately,” Kerala Catholic Bishop Council spokesman Father Stephen Althara said in Kochi.

Bishop John Thattumkal, also a known Canon law expert, had earlier called a meeting of parish priests and vicars to discuss the issue. At the meeting many priests had demanded the bishop to step down but he said he would if the Pope so desired.

The adoption of a 26-year-old woman by the bishop had left the clergy and believers fuming. Embarrassed the church had initiated a multi-level probe against him and submitted a report to the Vatican’s representative in the country, Arch Bishop Pedro Lopez.

When the issue snowballed into a controversy the bishop insisted that he had only a filial love towards the ‘spiritually gifted girl.’ He had claimed that the relation had given him ‘some special spiritual experience.’ He even admitted that he performed a ‘bloody blessing’ and sprinkled the Bishop House with the ‘special blood.’