THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: For 35 long years, Father Mani Parampett was the shepherd of believers in the Catholic Church. Today, he leads a different flock - those without faith in God. Mani, who quit the Church on April 1, 2005, is now the state secretariat member of the Kerala Yukthivadi Sangam, the affiliate body of the Federation of Rationalist Movements in India.
Ordained a priest on December 16, 1971, at the age of 25, he served the Catholic Church in various capacities in different parts of the state. But his conflict with faith and practices of the Church forced him to ditch the cassock and bid goodbye to priesthood. Mani, who had solemnised several marriages as a priest now lives in Kottapuram, Attapadi, with his live-in partner as he does not believe in the institution of marriage and family any longer. He also does farming on his one acre purchased after selling his ancestral property in Pala.
“I quit the Church as I was suffocating from inside. I was in conflict all through my carrier as a priest as what we were taught for nine years in the seminary was never implemented,” he told Express.
He said there were several instances wherein the Church made him do things which he could never digest and that included fighting legal battles. Mani has been working in Attapadi among the tribals for the past several years and said he knows there has been heavy swindling of public money in the name of assistance for tribals. He said he was instrumental in opening several Churches across the state and in Attapadi itself he had opened four churches.
Asked on the celibacy vow of priests, he said, “I can vouch that celibacy is a dream. It can never happen and is never happening. There are several such lies the Catholic Church has meticulously planted across the globe and this is one such instance.”
He started his carrier as the head of the SH High School and SH Balabhavan run by the Church in Mukkanur, Angamali. He reminisced it was he who had blessed the building of Federal Bank as he was the local priest. K P Hormis, the chairman and managing director of Federal Bank, had personally invited him.
Mani said other than the Church, all other religions and priesthood are exploiting humankind and added that there was no need for organised religions for the people.