Church to form inquiry panel against Idukki Catholic priest joining BJP

The Idukki diocese also confirmed that Fr Mattam, 73, has taken primary membership in the BJP.
Fr Mattam was removed temporarily from his responsibilities under Canon law: a priest of the church cannot join or have active participation in any political party. 
Fr Mattam was removed temporarily from his responsibilities under Canon law: a priest of the church cannot join or have active participation in any political party. 

IDUKKI: A special commission will be appointed to look into the issue of the removal of Fr Kuriakose Mattam, vicar of St Thomas Catholic Church, at Mankuva in Adimali, from his post after he joined the BJP, a Church spokesperson has said.  

However, despite the Church authorities taking action against the vicar, the BJP district committee has not yet intervened on the issue. 

A party source said the vicar had taken BJP membership 15 days ago and it was with his permission that the video of the reception that was accorded to him on Monday was circulated among the public. The priest received his membership from BJP Idukki district unit president K S Aji. He has shared photographs from the event on his social media pages which later went viral. 

The Idukki diocese also confirmed that Fr Mattam, 73, has taken primary membership in the BJP. Rev Fr Jins Karakattil, the spokesperson of the diocese, said that Fr Mattam was removed temporarily from his responsibilities under Canon law: a priest of the church cannot join or have active participation in any political party. 

“The priest will be asked to appear before the commission as the Church wishes to know about it and then we will arrive at a conclusion,” he said. Fr Karakattil said follow-up action will be taken against Fr Mattam only after the commission completes its inquiry. 

“As of now,  Fr Mattam is cooperating with the Church. Further steps will be taken after the report is received,” he said. 

The removal order was given by the Idukki diocese of the Catholic Church which he received an hour after news surfaced that he had taken the BJP membership. Though the vicar has not yet responded on the issue, he had told in the reception meeting that he does not think the BJP was an anti-Christian party. “It is essential for our times that people of all faiths should come together. I hope to get more opportunities to work together,” he had said.   

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