Vatican accepts resignation of Indian bishop

Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) [Hong Kong]

January 15, 2024

A ‘distressing situation’ caused Bishop Kannikadass Antony William of Mysore to put  in his papers, says official release

The Vatican has accepted the resignation of an Indian bishop over allegations of murder, rape and misappropriation of Church funds.

Pope Francis accepted Bishop Kannikadass Antony William’s resignation due to “the distressing situation” in the Mysore diocese, said an official release.

Bishop William headed the Mysore diocese in southern Karnataka from February 2017 to January 2023 until he was asked to “take a period of absence from the ministry” following the allegations.

The 58-year-old prelate steadfastly denied any wrongdoing and blamed it on a group of disgruntled priests in the diocese who alleged financial discipline.

The bishop is also facing allegations of keeping mistresses and having children.

The resignation comes amidst a campaign for the reinstatement of his active ministry, attributed to a section of priests in the diocese.

Those behind the campaign released a one-hour video titled, “Conspiracy to kill Bishop K Anthony William of Mysore Diocese – By Father Gnanaprakash & Team” narrating how some priests actively conspired against the former bishop.

The video has conversations with Archbishop Emeritus Leo Cornelio of Bhopal who headed a three-member Vatican panel that looked into the charges against Bishop William.

Archbishop Cornelio is quoted in the conversations with priests saying, “There wasn’t a single substantiating evidence” against Bishop William.

Archbishop Cornelio is heard accusing Father Gnana Prakash and another priest of gross financial indiscipline.  

Father Prakash is among the 37 priests who complained to the Vatican against the bishop.

It seems the video is doctored “to defame the priests who raised their voice against Bishop William,” Father Prakash told UCA News on Jan. 15,

“The conversion attributed to me in the video is fake.”

“I have sought permission from the apostolic administrator to initiate legal action against those campaigners.”

The priest added that other priests may follow suit.

Archbishop Cornelio did not respond to calls from UCA News for his comments.