Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

Parish priest manhandled in Kerala

ICC Note:
Gang of young men physically assault Catholic priest and threaten him with “dire consequences.”

ICNS (1/2/07) — A parish priest working in the Archdiocese of Verapoly in Kerala was manhandled and threatened by a group of Anglo-Indian youths on the New Year day. The archdiocese has condemned the incident.

According to diocesan officials, a gang of some 15 youths barged into the cabin of Fr. Thomas Chingamthara, Vicar of the Infant Jesus Church at High Court Junction in Kochi and manhandled him, creating a tense situation in the parish.

“I do not know what provoked them to manhandle me. But it is a sad incident, and it shows how intolerant and immature are our youths,” Fr. Chingamthara said.

The priest who has lodged a complaint in the local police station said there was no provocation for the incident. The police have registered a case of assault against the youth.

According to reports, as soon as the Vicar return to his chamber after the valedictory Mass of the Feast of the Infant Jesus that began on December 26, the gang stormed into his room.

“They removed the name board and pushed me. They also threatened me with dire consequences and hurled abusive words at me,” Fr. Chingamthara said.

The trustees of the parish have alleged that some of the gangsters were in an inebriated condition and they manhandled altar boys Nikhil Selvi and Antony Jose.

The incident comes close on the heels of the ban on some Anglo-Indian representatives holding any responsibility in the parish affairs as per the director of the Archbishop curia.

A section of the Anglo-Indian community had earlier staged a protest demonstration in front of the Archbishop’s House.