Indian priest linked to bishop’s rape case found dead

Indian priest linked to bishop’s rape case found dead Fr Kuriakose Kattuthara

A senior Catholic priest considered a prime witness against an Indian bishop accused of rape has been found dead, with his family suspecting foul play.

Fr Kuriakose Kattuthara (67) was found dead inside his room in Jalandhar on the morning of October 22, a week after Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar was bailed by the state court in Kerala and went back to his diocese.

Diocesan spokesman Fr Peter Kavumpuram told media that some nuns went looking for the priest when he had not woken by 10am at St Mary’s Church complex in Dasuya town.

“When he didn’t open the door, they [the nuns] called for help. The door was then broken and Kuriakose was found unconscious and there was vomit in the room. We took him to the hospital, where he was declared dead,” he said.

However, the priest’s brother Joy Kattuthara said the family believe the priest was killed for his strong stand against the bishop. The priest was also a witness in the case as he gave testimony against the bishop, he said.

“He was under tremendous pressure” to retract his statements against the bishop, Joy said.