Days after senior Orthodox Church priest Fr Shyju Kurian from Kerala became a member of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he was removed from all Church posts that he held. The action was taken by Church authorities on Friday, January 5. The priest, along with 47 others from the Catholic Church, joined the party on December 30, 2023, during the Christmas Sneha Sangam organised by National Democratic Alliance (NDA), in the presence of Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan.
Shyju was the secretary of the Nilakkal Dioceses of the Syrian Orthodox Church and held a top post in the Sunday School. He has now been removed from both. He, however, claimed that he has “taken leave and once on leave, it’s natural to move out of the posts.” Meanwhile, the Church higher ups have now constituted a commission to probe into the allegations of misconduct against him and submit its report in two months’ time.
According to reports, the Church has also directed the priests to refrain from talking to the media without its permission.
In October last year, vicar of the St Thomas Catholic Church in Idukki Fr Kuriakose Mattem joined the BJP, following which he was removed from vicarship. BJP sources had then said that he was the first Catholic priest in Kerala to join the party.
(With IANS inputs)