Indian priest laicized for gross abuse of power

Union of Catholic Asian News

November 27, 2020

Pope Francis dismisses Bhopal priest who once accused his archbishop and two priests of trying to poison him

Pope Francis has laicized an Indian Catholic priest for gross abuse of ecclesiastical power and office.

Announcing the Vatican decision, Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Bhopal said in a statement that “now, with regret and pain, I wish to formally communicate to everyone that by an official decree from our Supreme Pontiff Pope Francis, on Oct. 22, 2020, Anand Muttungal (Joseph M.T.) of the Archdiocese of Bhopal has been dismissed in poenam (as a penalty) from the clerical state and dispensed from all his clerical obligations, including that of celibacy.”

However, Muttungal, the former public relations officer of Bhopal Archdiocese, said he was unaware of his dismissal.

“I must say that to date I have had no communication from the Vatican,” he said, adding he was not aware of the offense attributed to him that led to his dismissal.

Referring to a criminal case he had filed against Archbishop Cornelio and two other priests from the archdiocese, he said that “… authorities have been trying to get me to withdraw the criminal cases going on against them.”

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.