Mananthavady Archdiocese has suspended its spokesperson Fr Thomas Joseph Therakam.
The diocese’s decision comes a day after he was removed as Wayanad Child Welfare Committee (CWC) chairman by the state government as he allegedly tried to help the Kottiyoor priest Robin Vadakkumchery in hushing up the latter’s rape case, in which a minor girl was raped and subsequently gave birth to a baby.
In a statement, Mananthavady bishop Jose Porunnedam on Sunday said the decision was taken after the government’s move to sack Therakam and also said that the Church will stand by the rape survivor.
In an earlier statement, the Bishop had offered his apologies to the family of the survivor. He had said in the apology letter that the person who had to guard his followers himself has assaulted them.
Meanwhile, seven accused in the case including five nuns are absconding and police are on the lookout for them.
Two nuns who belonged to the Holy Infant Mary's Girls Home at Vythiri in Wayand were also charged under POCSO and are among those absconding.
After the minor’s delivery, the baby was brought to this charity home and the nuns there allegedly tried to hide the incident. However, on Sunday the orphanage claimed in a statement given to the district administrator that the institution has not done anything wrong in the case. They claimed that orphanage officials had informed CWC the very next day after the baby was brought to the orphanage.
Claiming that that they had no idea that the baby’s mother was a minor, the orphanage officials said they said they met the baby's mother on February 20 when the baby was taken to a hospital, where CWC member Betty Jose was working. In an effort to save its face, the CWC sent them an email on March 2 seeking an explanation, the officials of the home claimed, The Times of India reports.
Robin Vadakkumchery was arrested on February 28 while he was trying to escape to Canada.