A case of priest rape according to 'Sunday Shalom' magazine

My cousin posted this link to his fb wall…independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/catholic-priest-rape-15-year-old-girl-kerala-india-mathew-vadakkacheril-consumerism-temptations-sex-a7613406.html

According to the article, a Catholic priest in india raped a 15-year-old girl. A Christian magazine, Sunday Shalom (which is reportedly backed by the Church), is quoted to say that it places the blame primarily on the girl!

There are two questions that could be asked about this:

First of all, my cousin’s motives for posting such an article are pretty clear as he ends his posting with the words “…and people continue to wonder why I stopped being Catholic.”
He has been adamantly against having anything to do with religion…or anything that cannot be physically proven for that matter, for many years. He seems to take pleasure in posting these kinds of things to seemingly prove religion’s hypocrisy.

First there is the question of whether everything that is supposedly backed by the Church (in the magazine’s case, a Catholic “Sabha” or association) is meant to be 100% flawless; as in, whether it is supposed to represent all the views of the church as a whole.

Thus, can the article REALLY say that the Church blames “consumerism and temptations of the body” for this rape in the way it is read here; as if the Pope himself said it?

I don’t know if I want try to give a rebuttal to my cousin’s post as it will likely start a thing (he is quite a debater and while I can hold my own to a point, I don’t have the stamina for it).

Sure, I can say that “not all priests are like him” and I can go on to point out the percentages of how many honorable priests there are compared to un-honerable ones. Or I can say something to the effect that "leaving the church (or any religion) based on imperfect people will never end in finding the “perfect religion”, but it would likely loop back to the assumption that the Church backs these kind of atrocities and, 'yknow, back to the same “hypocrisies” he’s trying to show off. He doesn’t believe that God started the church after all since he doesn’t believe in Him so he views it in the sense that it’s a purely human invention.

I want to choose my battles wisely (so I will most likely unfollow his posts hehe), but I’d like to know your thoughts on this, if you have any :slight_smile:

St. Monica, pray for us.

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:


Sincere apology for not being able to give you a straight answer, except to suggest you ignore him, especially if he likes baiting you.

Off on a tangent, your cousin’s words about being an ex-Catholic jolted my memory. The late, great Archbishop Sheen was convinced that ex-Catholics end up that way due to moral problems.

i’m bungling incompetent when it comes to providing links, but…it worked from here…but…


If it’s no good, google “archbishop sheen how much did you steal”, and go to Unam Sanctam Catholicam: Fulton Sheen: “It’s always a moral problem.”

Not saying it means anything, but just wondering. Guilt can cause extreme animosity. :shrug:

Regardless of that, let’s hope you get some good advice, so best wishes! :thumbsup:

Ignore and delete. Peace.

If your cousin’s city mayor were to rape a 15 year old girl, would your cousin renounce being an American?

It is not logical to make decisions about a religion based on the behavior of some of its members, especially when the bad behavior is expressly contrary to the teaching of that religion.

Since the 15-year-old female involved in this case was “allegedly raped several times,” that makes me wonder that perhaps the word “rape” is not being used here in the sense of “non-consensual sex” but is rather being used in the sense of “statutory rape” because the current legal age of consent in India, established only in 2013, is 18 years old. As late as 1982 the legal age of consent in India was 15 years old. Even today marriages involving 15-year-old females are not uncommon in India and such marriages are considered legally valid but voidable, although the official legal age for marriage is 18 years old. In this case, the female might legally be considered a “girl” and a “child” but culturally in India, I am guessing, a 15-year-old female would be considered a young woman of marriageable age, which might explain why, if their sex was consensual, blame has apparently been placed on both the priest and the female. If this was a case of consensual sex, the headline 35 years ago would not have been “Priest raped girl” but more like, “Young, single woman has an affair with a priest and gives birth to their love child.”

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.