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India

Indian bishop denies allegations of sex, fund misuse

Bishop K.A. William says a group of priests opposed to his reforms are spreading false claims to defame him

ucanews reporter, New Delhi

ucanews reporter, New Delhi

Updated: November 06, 2019 09:56 AM GMT
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Indian bishop denies allegations of sex, fund misuse

A screen shot from a video on Bishop K.A. William of Mysore, who is facing allegations of sex and financial misappropriation from his own priests in Karnataka state in southern India.     

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A Catholic bishop in southern India has dismissed allegations of being a womanizer and fathering two children as a retaliatory response from a section of priests who are opposed to his administrative reforms.

Bishop K.A. William of Mysore (now Mysuru) Diocese said the public allegations came from a section of priests who have been opposed to his reform efforts since he took over the diocese in 2017.

"There is no truth in the allegations. A group [of priests] are behind it because of administrative reforms I introduced," the bishop said during a press conference on Nov. 5 in Mysuru, a town in Karnataka state.

The 54-year-old prelate spoke to the media after 37 of the 100 odd priests in the diocese wrote to the Vatican and its papal representative in India, plus other heads of church bodies in India.

The letter alleged that Bishop William has had sexual relationships with at least 10 women. He is the father to two children aged 12 and five, it said. The letter, also circulated in media, sought action against the bishop.

"If the allegations were true, I would not have been made a bishop," Bishop William told media.

Born and raised in Mysore, he was a priest of the diocese until named its bishop in January 2017. But his detractors say that besides sexual violations, he has also misappropriated diocesan funds.

His 12-year-old son studies in "a highly expensive residential school affordable by the rich and the elite. The mother is unemployed."

The boy's Catholic mother was married to a Catholic man, and they have a girl child. But the marriage "is broken" after Bishop William, then a priest, impregnated her, the priests alleged.

They also accused the bishop of spending diocesan funds to build houses for his female partners and family members.

Meanwhile, three priests complained to police about "unknown persons" for leaking the letter of allegations to media.

One of them, Father Matali Mutthu, confirmed that he was among those who filed the police complaint, but he refused to speak any more about it.

A priest on condition of anonymity confirmed that they had sent the letter to the Vatican, nuncio to India Archbishop Giambattista Diquattro, and head of the national bishops' conference Cardinal Oswald Gracias.

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