10/03/2023, 11.49
Send to a friend

BJP recruits Kerala priest, diocese suspends him

by Nirmala Carvalho

The case of Fr. Kuriakose Mattam in Idukki. "I disagree with the belief that the BJP is not a party for Christians." The party flaunts his words to dismiss criticism of the Modi government over failures to act against violence in Manipur. Hindu nationalists' courtship of Kerala's large Christian community.

Idukki (AsiaNews) - A Syro-Malabar Catholic priest from Kerala has been relieved of his duties by his diocese of Idukki after joining the BJP, the Hindu nationalist party. Fr Kuriakose Mattam, 74, was serving at St Thomas Church in Mankuva. He was welcomed into the party by Idukki district president K S Aji on Monday.

“After we learned that he was interested in joining our party, we went to meet him and he agreed to join,” Aji wrote in a Facebook post, sharing images of the priest wearing a saffron shawl.

“I don't agree with the common belief that the BJP is not a party for Christians - commented Fr. Mattam -. I read newspapers and have an understanding of the situation in the country. It is essential for our times that people of all faiths come together. I hope to have other opportunities to work together."

Fr. Antony Vadakkekara, public relation officer from the Syro-Malabar Church, told AsiaNews, "Fr Kuriakose Mattam seems taken membership in a political party according to the media reports. Fr Mattam is temporarily suspended from his position as the Vicar with immediate effect. He is an elderly priest about to get retired in a few months. Prompt action is taken because the parishioners are agitated with the suspected move from their Vicar. And according to the Canon law priests taking membership in any political party is a serious violation of their promise and commitment as a priest. However, the diocesan bishop and the authorities concerned will hear Fr Mattam before further proceedings".

Meanwhile, local political leader Aji is heralding the priest's entry into the BJP as a response to those who criticize the party, accusing it of connivance with the ethnic violence that has been ongoing for months in Manipur and which is causing serious suffering to the local Christian community.

It is probably no coincidence that the story of Fr. Mattam is taking place in Kerala, a state where Christians make up 18% of the population and where the BJP, currently in opposition at a local level, has been conducting an active campaign towards them for some time.

Photo: Flickr / Ya, saya inBaliTimur

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
National Commission for Women asks for 'immediate action' in the nun rape case in Kerala
07/02/2019 17:28
Elections in Kerala: collapse of the Marxists
Priest seriously injured in attack against Catholic Church
Andhra Pradesh, nationalists push Christians to mass conversion to Hinduism
25/10/2019 13:38
Kerala challenges Modi: no to beef ban
09/06/2017 10:06


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”