Mumbai’s Card Gracias slams false accusations against him on social media

Asia News [Bangkok, Thailand]

August 8, 2022

Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, released a video following reports that he covered up for Bishop Kannikass Antony William of Mysore.

“In the interest of the truth and for the good of the Church, I am communicating with you directly,” he says in the video released two days ago by the archdiocese.

Bishop William is accused of having lovers, fathering children, and killing four priests who opposed him.

A Vatican commission composed of three bishops began investigating in February 2021 after a group of local priests wrote a letter to Pope Francis in 2019.

“I was very distressed when recently several well-wishers shared with my team some videos and messages that have been doing the rounds on social media. These centre around a conversation between Bishop William and myself two years back,” Card Gracias notes.

“I have realised that the tape of my conversation has been mischievously edited to give the impression that there was collusion between Bishop William of Mysore and myself for a ‘cover up’.”

Card Gracias went on to admit that he told the bishop that “it would be advisable for him to do a paternity test” because the “rumours going around” were “not good for the Church and the best way to end the controversy was this test.”

The aim was to persuade “Bishop William to take the test at a trusted, reputed and above-board Institution like St. John’s Hospital.”

The Association of Concerned Catholics, a secular organisation that seeks to eradicate corruption in the Indian Church, told the Vatican commission to oppose a DNA test at a Catholic hospital because of the risk that the sample could be manipulated.

“I suggested St John’s Hospital as it is a [credible] institution,” added Card. Gracias, and “to allay Bishop William’s fears of publicity and manipulation.”

The cardinal stressed that he chose “this medium of communication to give clarity to a course of events that has transpired and to ensure that you, my dear people, are made aware of the truth.”