Mysuru (Karnataka): Allegations of corruption, sexual assault and kidnapping against Mysuru Bishop Kannikadass William Antony have come to light after he was asked to go on leave.
On November 5, Robert Rosario lodged a complaint against the Bishop. Robert is representing , a citizen’s group, the Association of Concerned Catholics (AOCC). It was in last March that a video of a woman had surfaced. The woman had accused that bishop Kannikadass Antony had threatened her after she had accused another priest of sexual harassment.
The woman, who formerly worked in the diocese, had alleged harassment by a priest, Leslie Moras. She said that when she attempted to report misconduct by Leslie, bishop Kannikadas Antony threatened her.
“Leslie had called me to the office after my field work at around 6 pm. He did so on the pretext of taking stock of my work. At that time, he (Leslie Moras) was grazing himself against me lustfully. Later, he directly approached me for sex. And said, only if you compromise yourself with me you will have a job. I decided to quit my job thereafter, in May 2018,” the woman told Crux, a portal.
She further alleged, “Some men came to my new workplace in July 2018 and made me accompany them after I got a threatening call from the bishop. The men took me to a car, wiped all the data on my phone, and offered to give me money.”
The victim herself has not filed the police complaint against Bishop Kannikadass. The citizen’s group AOCC has taken up the matter on humanitarian grounds.
Church replaces Kannikadass
Catholic Bishops Conference of India Secretary General Archbishop Felix Machado informed about action taken by the Church in the matter. He made public a letter stating the change of Bishop Kannikadass Antony. The Church has appointed Archbishop Emeritus of Bengaluru Bernard Moras as the apostolic administrator in place of the accused bishop, for the diocese of Mysuru.
“In a communication received from the Apostolic Nunciature, I wish to inform that the Dicastery for Evangelization has appointed His Grace Most Rev Bernard Moras, Archbishop Emeritus of Bengaluru, Apostolic Administrator sede plena et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of the Diocese of Mysuru for the ordinary administration and pastoral care of that local Church.
“The Dicastery for Evangelization has decided to remove the Diocesan Bishop, the Right Rev Kannikadass A William, from the ministry. The appointment will take effect on January 7, 2023, from 6 pm onwards,” the letter stated.
Kannada Christara Sangha (KCS) Secretary Raphael has expressed anger at the behaviour of Christian clergy. He said that it is unfortunate that the last two Bishops have tarnished the Mysuru Diocese. They have damaged the glory, name and fame of Mysuru Diocese in the last few years.
Raphael added that Antony has, after his appointment as the bishop in 2017, “spent public money on luxuries as well as to cover up illegal activities.”
“The dark age of our diocese began when the current bishop (Kannikadass A William Antony) was appointed. We regret and feel sorry to say that we have got a person who is immoral, corrupt, unspiritual, materialist, worldly, ill-reputed, disrespected and a dictator as bishop of Mysuru,” priests wrote in their letter to the Vatican.
Robert Rosario faces harassment
It is pertinent to mention that Robert Rosario of AOCC has been acting as a whistle blower against misdemeanour of Christian clergy. As a result, some missionaries have filed complaints against him.