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Archbishop named in murder case

Kottayam archdiocese threatens to sue over 'defamatory' allegations

  • ucanews.com reporter, Thiruvananthapuram
  • India
  • July 25, 2012
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Kottayam archdiocese says it is to take legal action against India’s top law enforcement agency after it implicated a retired archbishop in the murder of a Catholic nun 20 years ago.

A Church spokesperson said yesterday that the archdiocese would file a criminal case against the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the media for defaming “our most respected leader and the Religious.”

The move follows a CBI statement given to a court in Kerala, southern India, on Monday, which said Archbishop Kuriakose of Kottayam had been involved in an illicit affair with another nun who was staying at the convent at the same time the murder of Sister Abhaya took place.

The 19-year-old nun’s body was found in the well of St Pius X convent in Kottayam on March 27, 1992. Two priests and a nun were accused of the murder in 2008 – 16 years later.

The CBI statement quoted the testimony of a female professor who alleges that the accused priests and nun had facilitated Archbishop Kunnassery’s alleged sexual escapades with one Sister Lousy who was teaching with her in the archdiocesan college.

The archbishop, who is now 84, retired six years ago.

However, archdiocesan officials have categorically denied the CBI allegations.

Archdiocesan spokesperson Father Abraham Parambettu said the CBI is out to defame Church leaders since it has not found sufficient evidence against the three accused.

“It’s shameful. It [the CBI] has been probing the case for 19 years and has now scripted a crime thriller without evidence,” the priest said yesterday.

The priest dismissed the CBI statement as “false and defamatory,” and said there was no nun called Lousy teaching at the college.

“The investigation agency could have verified this fact with the college,” Fr Parambettu said.

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