Monday, 29 October 2012

Official - Gali Arulraj now suspended as a priest

This morning I received a copy of a public notice, issued by the Bishop of Nellore, Most Rev. Moses Prakasam, to "inform all the clergy, religious and people of God that Rev. Fr. Gali Arulraj was placed under suspension with effect from 06-09-12."
The full notice can be read clearly by clicking  [right click and 'open link in new tab'] on the image above.  Whereas a priest is sometimes given a partial suspension for offences that are less grave, it is to be noted that Arulraj's suspension is total: he is "prohibited from exercising all the acts of the power of Orders, power or governance and exercise of all the rights and functions attached to the office of the  Priesthood."  Arulraj "has no faculties and consequently he is not authorised to celebrate Holy Mass, hearing confessions or administration of any other sacraments or any other related ministries of Priesthood."
There remain serious concerns with regard to the amount of effort and the length of time it has taken to effect this suspension - a suspension which should have been declared many years ago.  It is only with this suspension that a canonical process leading to Arulraj's dismissal from the clerical state - which must surely be the outcome of the process - can now take place.  (That his dismissal remains necessary is indicated by the notice of suspension itself, which describes Arulraj respectfully- as a priest - as "Rev. Fr. Gali Arulraj." It is, however, clear even from the sanitised description of  Arulraj's shameful activities, which date back some 15 years - 15 years! -  that he does not merit this respectful title or any of the privileges attached to the clerical state.)  While it is to be hoped that the canonical process now advances without unnecessary delays this blog will remain active in case there are further concerns to raise.
For now, though, there is much reason to be grateful for the imposition of the suspension.  The scandal of Arulraj living a family life and fraudulently raising funds and then embezzling them from the poorest of the poor, and continuing to function as a Catholic priest,  has now been addressed by the Bishop of Nellore's actions.  May Bishop Prakasam now bring the scandal of Arulraj remaining a Catholic priest to its fitting conclusion.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Still waiting for the Bishop of Nellore

In recent weeks several people have contacted me inquring whether Bishop Moses Prakasam of the Diocese of Nellore responded to the email I sent him on 16 April in reply to his email of 2 April.  More importantly, they have asked whether he has at last taken action against his rogue priests, epseically against Gali Arulraj. 

In emails to me, dated 22 and 28 April, Bishop Prakasam said that he had not intended to cause offence by his email of 2 April.  He said that he was unable to reply to individuals who were writing to him, but wished to correspond directly with me and work on this directly with me. Bishop Prakasam asked me not to publish on this blog his correspondence with me. Although he did not answer the many points I made in my email of 16 April I assumed good will and sincerity on his part, and so (in spite of my previous experience with him) I accepted what he said at face value. Recognising that some things have to be said and done privately I told him I was willing not to publish our correspondence so long as it was clear that progress was being made.  The indications I received were that at long last Bishop Prakasam would deal properly with the scandal caused by allowing Arulraj to continue functioning as a priest.

Correspondence between us continued until 26 May, when Bishop Prakasam sent me an email in which he asked me to clarify a preposterous allegation made by Gali Arulraj. He also informed me that Arulraj denies being married or living in concubinage with a woman.  The way the email was written it almost seemed as though Arulraj's denial was enough to settle the matter!

In that email of 26 May, Bishop Prakasam said I could place a few lines from him on the website, reading:
"Gali Arulraj is not in communion with his Bishop and the Diocese of Nellore. None of his appeals for soliciting funds have neither the endorsement of his Bishop nor are part of the mission and works of the Diocese."

In my reply to Bishop Prakasam, dated 30 May, I said I would not publish his statement immediately because I thought he might wish to revise it.  I said to him: "You may choose to revise it for two main reasons: a) it does not provide any new information but repeats what you have said in the past, and b) what it says about Arulraj being "not in communion" is inaccurate and inevitably raises further questions, notably why Arulraj still has not been suspended."

I also responded to what the Bishop had said about Arulraj's preposterous allegation, and provided documentation from four separate public sources - one of which includes information given under affidavit -  as evidence that Gali Arulraj is publicly regarded as being the husband of Gangada Sujatha and the father of her two children.

I have received no response - not even the courtesy of an acknowledgement - from Bishop Prakasam.  Since then there has been silence from him

The evidence I gave to Bishop Prakasam was sufficient for him to suspend Arulraj immediately from functioning as a priest in any way.  More than that, given that Arulraj was denying being married when there was public evidence to the contrary, it required Bishop Prakasam to suspend him from all priestly activities. (See a previous post  which gives details of canon law on this.)

Indeed, Bishop Prakasam received sufficient information to suspend Arulraj  more than five and a half years ago, and the process to dismiss him from priestly ministry should have been concluded long ago. Instead, he is willing to let this scandalous situation with a priest of his diocese continue.

And the persistent question remains:  Why?

It is now three months since Bishop Prakasam's last email, and it seems clear to me that he has reverted to his policy of inaction. For the coming weeks I will be busy and will be unable to deal with queries about Arulraj.  This matter is not, however, forgotten.  And it will not be forgotten.  It will be resolved.

In the meantime, Bishop Prakasam has a final opportunity to demonstrate whether the emails he sent me in April and May were truly sincere and whether he is genuinely concerned to take action to put an end to the ongoing scandal of Gali Arulraj remaining a priest of the Diocese of Nellore. He could show his sincerity today by issuing a decree that Arulraj is suspended from all priestly ministry.  In the absence of concrete action there is only one conclusion to be drawn as to whether the Bishop of Nellore is sincere.

It seems to me that Bishop Prakasam has abused the good will of myself and others in Enable, and is taking us for a ride. There are several reasons why Bishop Prakasam might want to spin out this 'waiting game'  and they do no credit to him or the Diocese of Nellore. He should know by now that the scandal of Arulraj - and the additional scandal of  his own inaction - will be pursued to its fitting conclusion.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Blog poll conclusion: Arulraj unfit to be a priest

Is Gali Arulraj unfit to be a priest?                 
  217 (99%)
  1 (0%)

Change your vote
Votes so far: 218
Days left to vote: 224

[Votes on the poll this morning]

It has been brought to my attention that the number of votes on the blog poll has, mysteriously, been reduced at least three times during the past week.  The votes saying that Gali Arulraj is unfit to be a priest have gone beyond 230, and then mysteriously been reduced by 10 or 15 votes - and when they have gone beyond 230 again the number has inexplicably been reduced yet again.

This morning I noticed that the 'yes' vote had been dropped from last night's 231 to 217.  The 'no' vote had dropped from 2 to 1.

I assume that  Gali Arulraj was one of those who voted that he is fit to be a priest. Perhaps he was supported by Vatakili Paulinraj (his nephew and fellow priest of the Diocese of Nellore who is also charged with fraud, theft, etc. and awaiting trial) ? Or perhaps his 'wife' gave him her loyal support?  I had thought he might receive at least three votes - not that he is getting any sympathy from me after the dismal amount of support shown for him.

Given the inexplicable problem with the poll, and in order to avoid any accusation that I have unfairly slashed the 'no' vote in half, it seems right to bring the poll to an end now.

I should just add that I have no control over the poll itself.  It is managed by 'blogger' and I cannot increase or decrease any of the votes myself. As only one vote can be registered from each computer the poll cannot count the multiple votes of family members who would all have liked to indicate their objection to Arulraj remaining a priest.

The poll, however, which registered more than 250 'yes' votes, and only 2 'no' votes, reflects the overwhelming opinion that Gali Arulraj is unfit to be a priest.

Of course, I am not calling on Bishop Moses Prakasam of Nellore Diocese to resolve Gali Arulraj's priestly status in view of the blog poll.  The case for immediately suspending Arulraj and then concluding the canonical process for his dismissal from the priestly ministry stands on its own merits - and it is a compelling case. 

What I am truly trying to fathom though is this:  if it is so obvious to just about everyone else that Gali Arulraj is unfit to be a priest....why is it not obvious to the Bishop of Nellore?

[UPDATE - 9 May 2012: During the past week there have been some fluctuations in the poll figures even though the poll has been closed during that time.  The 'yes' votes have fluctuated between about 205 and 250.  I will keep the poll results up in the right hand column for now, as they give a general idea of how people voted, but I will remove them if the changes are so excessive as to give a distorted impression of the results.]

And it's down again

Gali Arulraj's scamming website for the bogus "New Life Society for the Poor and Handicapped"  went online again last Thursday.

By Saturday morning it was down again.  It's still down. 

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Gali Arulraj - a priest with no shame

Gali Arulraj's scamming website back online today - he has no shame
Gali Arulraj's scamming website for the bogus New Life Society for the Poor and Handicapped went online again today, having been taken down one month ago.

The website has been carefully constructed so that everything is in image form, preventing words from being traced by google or other search engines.  Most of the pages are entitled "Untitled Document" so they won't be picked up on search engines.  Does even one legitimate website go to such lengths to ensure that it won't be traced?!

Obviously, during the past month Arulraj must have been missing out on the funds he had been able to scam while it was up, and he decided it was worth taking the chance of putting it up again.

Yet again, he offensively uses photographs of disabled children who have never even heard of a so-called "New Life Society," let alone benefited from it - in order to enrich himself.

Yet again, he uses religious imagery: pictures of Jesus Christ and Blessed Theresa of Calcutta are prominently displayed - in order to deceive and steal from charitable Christians, especially those who are Catholics.

And this is done by a priest who flaunts his priestly credientials and insists on being called "Fr Gali Arulraj" when it suits his purposes, but at other times (as with his website) uses the subterfuge of calling himself  "Mr G A Raj."

All this is made worse by the fact that his bishop, Bishop Moses Prakasam of the Diocese of Nellore, has been fully informed of the situation and continues to do nothing about it.

Gali Arulraj remains a priest of the Diocese of Nellore who has not even been suspended from the priesthood, inspite of embezzling more than a million pounds, and having a 'wife' and (at least) two children.

Arulraj has the confidence to do whatever he likes because he knows his bishop will do nothing about it.

Bishop Prakasam, we know that Arulraj has no shame.  As the Bishop responsible for your errant priest: have you no shame too? 

Monday, 16 April 2012

A reply to Bishop Prakasam's general email

Bishop Moses Prakasam of the Diocese of Nellore
I have written today to Bishop Moses Prakasam, in response to the general email  he wrote on 2 April. My text is reproduced in full, below. 

In summary, my reply takes issue with the offensive focus of Bishop Prakasam's email, which instead of addressing the situation of his priests Gali Arulraj and Vatakili Paulinraj, makes unjustified judgments about, and criticisms of, the motives and attitudes of the correspondents and supporters of Enable he is addressing.

Questioning whether Bishop Prakasam's words are empty rhetoric or actually have substance, I raise a series of questions, challenging whether it is truly loving and merciful of the bishop not to suspend Arulraj but to let him continue to function as a priest.

In particular, I remind Bishop Prakasam that in May 2007 he had said that he was going to initiate a canonical process to bring a conclusion to the status of Gali Arulraj.  I ask him whether he was being untruthful then, or whether something happened after that date to make him change his mind to the extent that he is unwilling now even to suspend Arulraj from priestly ministry.

I look forward to receiving Bishop Prakasam's answers to the pertinent questions I have asked him.

Reply to Bishop Prakasam's general email

Dear Bishop Prakasam,
Recognising how busy you would be during Holy Week and Easter I thought it would be better to wait until now before replying to the general email you sent on 2 April.
As you know, since our first meeting in January 2007, days after your installation as Bishop of Nellore, I have written to you countless times not only about the scandal caused by your two priests, Gali Arulraj and Vatakili Paulinraj, but also about the additional concern arising from your refusal to discipline them.
It was therefore with considerable disappointment and dismay that I read your general email.  I can hardly believe that, after more than five years of discussions with you – in person and in print – you can fail to grasp how much concern is caused by your inaction.  You begin your email saying that it is never your intention to offend anyone. And yet, the central part of your reply is extremely offensive.
The main part of your email is paragraph no. 3, which you break down into six parts. Here you treat shabbily those who have raised a legitimate concern with you.  Instead of addressing their complaint you level all manner of criticisms against your correspondents: you present them as being vengeful; you suggest they want to cast out Arulraj as a fugitive and wanderer; that like the elder brother of the prodigal son they are lacking generosity of spirit; moreover, that they are unwilling to pray for Arulraj’s repentance and that they don’t want him to receive forgiveness and mercy; that they are in effect throwing stones at him.
By contrast, you suggest that, unlike all of your correspondents, you are walking the path of love and mercy, forgiveness and hope.
With respect, Bishop Prakasam, what you have written is both offensive and ignorant. I know personally many of the hundreds of supporters of Enable who feel very badly betrayed by your priests as well as by your inaction.  I do not know a single person among them who thinks Arulraj is fit to remain a priest. Among the supporters of Enable are some of the most generous, loving, merciful and compassionate people you could hope to meet. To effectively slander them in the way you have done is nothing short of disgraceful, and I invite you to withdraw your ill-considered criticisms.
Of course, I cannot speak for the attitude of mind or spirit of each of your correspondents.  But, in fact, I do not need to. What you have been asked to address is not your correspondents’ (or my own) failings or sins but the scandalous actions of the two priests of your diocese, Arulraj and Paulinraj.  Not once do you even acknowledge that your correspondents have a legitimate grievance with respect to the actions of your two priests – as well as a legitimate grievance with respect to your allowing Arulraj (in particular) to continue to function as a priest.
It is easy to quote scriptural passages about searching out the lost sheep, and seeking to overcome evil with good, and to speak of love, mercy and forgiveness. And as it is easy to be deceived by empty words (which, as you will know, St Paul warns against – Eph 5:6),  I trust that you will be willing to demonstrate whether there is any substance in what you say by addressing the following points:
  1. You speak of forgiveness and mercy.  Have Arulraj and Paulinraj acknowledged their gross wrongdoing with respect to embezzling in excess of one million pounds, and abusing their positions as priests in order to enrich themselves.  You suggest that your correspondents are unwilling to forgive. But have Arulraj and Paulinraj acknowledged their crimes and their sins and sought forgiveness and mercy?
  2. As far as I am aware there has been no indication whatsoever that either priest has acknowledged their wrongdoing and sought forgiveness.  Moreover, given the gravity and the public nature of their offences there would be a need for them to make a public demonstration of their contrition, and a willingness to make amends to those they have wronged.  This includes donors from Enable and other agencies whose donations were embezzled, as well as the many hundreds of disabled children who suffered serious deprivation as a result of their thieving. Can you please tell me what sign either Arulraj or Paulinraj has given you to indicate contrition and a willingness to make amends? And can you please tell me what sort of action you believe is necessary for them to demonstrate that they sincerely wish to make amends for what they have done?
  3. In the absence of contrition and willingness to make amends, do you really believe that it is fitting for Arulraj and Paulinraj to exercise either a public ministry as parish priest (as is currently the case with Paulinraj) or an ‘unofficial’ ministry (as has been the case with Arulraj since 1997/1998)?
  4. You criticise your correspondents for lacking love and mercy.  Given the reality of what is involved in the priestly offering of the Eucharistic sacrifice, and the reception of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in Holy Communion, how loving and merciful is it to ignore the sacrilegious priestly actions of Gali Arulraj, when he has been living a way of life for many years that the Church identifies as being ‘mortal sin’? Is it not, in fact, loving and merciful and fatherly to suspend Arulraj from any priestly ministry for the good of his own soul?
  5. Do you truly believe it is acceptable not only for Gali Arulraj to exercise his priestly faculties ‘unofficially’ now, but that he might even eventually resume an official ministry? If you do not, why have you not even suspended him from ministry now and initiated (if not concluded) the process leading to his dismissal from the priesthood?
  6. If you do believe it is possible for Arulraj to one day resume an official priestly ministry, where is your concern and compassion for the woman regarded as his ‘wife’ and also for the children he has fathered?  Has not Arulraj chosen a new way of life which brings responsibilities to provide for his ‘wife’ and children?  Given the choices he has freely made, should you not be encouraging and assisting him to live a good and honest 'lay man's' life as a husband and father, rather than perpetuating the scandal of his being a priest with a ‘wife’ and children, who is ‘earning a living’ by embezzling funds intended for charitable purposes?
  7. You say “I shall continue my efforts of going out in search of the lost sheep.”  According to your correspondence with me, you have not met Arulraj even once since you became the Bishop of Nellore in January 2007.  You told me that he has refused to meet you.  Your words about seeking the lost sheep sound to me like empty rhetoric, designed to suggest that, unlike your correspondents, you are concerned about Arulraj’s wellbeing.  Perhaps you can give some idea of the efforts you have made in searching out the lost sheep, Arulraj? Perhaps you could also explain why it is not possible to suspend Arulraj from all priestly ministry while also seeking him out as a lost sheep?
  8. I find your last remark about overcoming evil with goodness particularly offensive.  In May 2006, when Arulraj realised that Enable was on the verge of discovering his embezzling, he closed down the centres for disabled children.  A few months later he gathered together some of the children to give the semblance of caring for them after he received adverse media publicity in India. Your predecessor, Bishop Balaswamy, told me that he sought to overcome evil with goodness, by showing the diocese’s commitment towards helping some of the children adversely affected. Enable entered a commitment with the diocese in November 2006 to fund a small project for which the diocese had responsibility.  It was understood that the number of children being supported would be quite small, but Enable undertook to fund it for an initial two year period and then to review the situation.  By May 2007, less than four months after your installation as bishop you had unilaterally closed down the project without even discussing it with Enable.  Where was your compassion for the children who, having been so badly let down by Arulraj were subsequently ‘dumped’ by the diocese?  Why were you so keen to abandon the attempt by Bishop Balaswamy to overcome the evil of Arulraj’s action by the Diocese (with Enable) doing good for at least some of the affected children? Perhaps you could tell me what you did to ensure the wellbeing of those children adversely affected by your decision (though I doubt if you will given that I understand your answer to this question would be ‘nothing’)?
Bishop Prakasam, I have read your email several times, and I have reflected on it carefully. It clarifies that Gali Arulraj has not been excommunicated and that the matter under discussion is not one that affects only your local church but is of international concern.  Other than that, it is bitterly disappointing.  How easy it is to use the language of love, forgiveness and mercy – but how bitter it is to hear those words when they are devoid of real substance.  It is particularly disappointing to see a Bishop attempt to defend his inaction by suggesting that those criticizing him are really the ones to be censured for their (supposed) lack of mercy, forgiveness and charity. That is a shabby defence and I hope you will withdraw it.
Most of all, I am puzzled as to why you should have said in May 2007 that you were initiating a canonical process to bring about a conclusion to the status of Gali Arulraj – and yet since then you have done absolutely nothing to even suspend him from priestly ministry.  Were you being untruthful in what you said in May 2007? Or what happened that you should have changed your mind?
We expect our bishops to be men of honour, who are true to their word, who do not take lightly the gross misconduct of their priests, who are concerned about the dignity of the priesthood and the worthy celebration of the sacraments.  It has been a very unfortunate experience for myself and others in Enable to have been so badly deceived and betrayed by two priests of the Diocese of Nellore.  That you, as their bishop, should now give them your support, and be so indifferent to making amends, upholding justice, and restoring confidence in the priests of your diocese, would be considered by most reasonable people as beyond belief.
In your email you attempted to explain why, contrary to the requirements of canon law, you insist on letting Gali Arulraj function as a priest.  As you have decided to place yourself outside the framework of canon law then your judgments inevitably invite the scrutiny of others, and you have to be willing to answer the legitimate questions that have emerged from your defence of your (in)action.  I trust that you will be willing to address the specific questions asked of you in this letter.
I look forward to your reply.
Yours sincerely,
Colin Harte

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Pope Benedict XVI answers Bishop Prakasam

Will Bishop Prakasam listen to Pope Benedict XVI?

Bishop Prakasam's general email will receive the considered reply that it merits,  but until then it is worth noting briefly the difference between the thinking of Bishop Prakasam and Pope Benedict XVI with respect to the implementation of canon law and how a bishop should respond to a priest's shameful behaviour.

Refusing to respect Canon 1395.1 which requires the bishop to suspend Gali Arulraj from all priestly ministry,  Bishop Prakasam says, "I have full respect to the law of the Church. I only wish to go by the spirit of the law rather than by the letter of it."

Contrary to Bishop Prakasam's suggestion, it is false to suggest that the spirit of the law could be the precise opposite of its letter. It is also disingenuous for him to claim to have "full respect" for the law when he is blatantly disregarding it.

Whereas Bishop Prakasam shows his disdain for canon law, Pope Benedict regards canon law as something to be both understood and appreciated  (indeed, loved) because it is necessary for respecting rights - in this instance, the rights of the faithful, not to be ministered to by a priest living a shameful life. Like others in Enable, I find it offensive to have been 'ministered to' by Arulraj - attending Holy Mass that he celebrated during the eight years up until 2006 during which time he should already have been suspended. It is offensive that Bishop Prakasam is not preventing Arulraj from continuing to minister to others when he is still living a life that is totally incompatible with the priestly ministry. Where is Bishop Prakasam's concern and love for those who are the unfortunate recipients of Arulraj's 'ministry'? Where is Bishop Prakasam's concern that the Holy Eucharist should not be celebrated in an unworthy manner by an unworthy minister?  Where is Bishop Prakasam's love and concern for Arulraj that he should prohibit him - for his own good too! - from celebrating the most holy of sacraments while his life is so disordered?

Pope Benedict makes it clear that one cannot violate law  by appealing to 'love' because law is a condition of love.  Addressing seminarians he said:

"You should also learn to understand and - dare I say it - to love canon law, appreciating how necessary it is and valuing its practical applications: a society without law would be a society without rights. Law is the condition of love."  [Letter to seminarians, 18 October 2010]

Whereas Bishop Prakasam suggests he is showing 'love and mercy' towards Gali Arulraj, indulging him by refusing to take any action,  Pope Benedict makes it clear that when bishops tolerate conduct unworthy of the priestly life it has nothing to do with love:

"The use of the rod can actually be a service of love. Today we can see that it has nothing to do with love when conduct unworthy of the priestly life is tolerated." [Homily to end the Year for Priests, 11 June 2010]

Bishop Prakasam has totally disregarded the many representations I have made to him on behalf of Enable.  Will he continue to disregard Pope Benedict's view too?

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Has Arulraj been convicted and jailed?

An Indian jail - what the future has in store for Gali Arulraj?
I have received a few emails today from people who said they didn't realise that Gali Arulraj was in jail. Yesterday's email from Bishop Prakasam of Nellore had mentioned beatings and "very inhuman and most heinous treatment" experienced by Arulraj in jail.  I received emails asking when Arulraj was convicted, how long his sentence was, and whether he is still in jail.

To clarify the situation: Arulraj's case has still not come before the criminal court. He has not (yet) been convicted.  He is not (yet) in jail.

Arulraj spent some time in jail in 2006 or 2007. As I recall it was 2006.  The reason that he spent time in jail had nothing whatsoever to do with Enable.  Indeed nobody in Enable knew anything about it until some time afterwards.  He was jailed because he broke the conditions of his bail.  In other words, he brought it upon himself.  Why he received such bad treatment in jail I do not know, but it could be that others took a dim view of him as he was well known in the town of Ongole after embezzling large sums of money that were intended to benefit disabled children. And is it surprising if they took such a dim view?

I  have no idea why Bishop Prakasam mentioned this in his email.  Whether or not Arulraj spent time in jail in the past, whether or not he was well treated, whether or not anyone should be concerned about how he was treated, whether or not he will spend time in jail in the future - the answers to each of these points are entirely  incidental to the question of why, contrary to the law of the Church and the specific responsibility of the Bishop of Nellore, Arulraj is allowed to continue functioning as a Catholic priest.

Monday, 2 April 2012

A general email from Bishop Prakasam

Bishop Moses Prakasam of Nellore

A few people have sent me a copy of a general email sent today by Bishop Moses Prakasam of the Diocese of Nellore.

Bishop Prakasam's email was a follow up to previous emails sent to a particular correspondent "and all" who share the concern expressed in this blog about the shameful actions of Gali Arulraj and the unwillingness of the Bishop of Nellore to even suspend him from the exercise of the priestly ministry.

The correspondent informs me that in his previous email he had expressed his dissatisfaction that Bishop Prakasam had been unwilling to clarify some points, e.g., he had understood from what the Bishop had written to him initially that Gali Arulraj had been excommunicated, and he could not see why the Bishop would not clarify whether this was so when he queried it. The correspondent had also indicated his dissatisfaction that the Bishop had said it was a 'local Church' matter and that he should be left to deal with it himself.  Of course, by embezzling as a priest at least one million pounds from overseas donations to fund a rich lifestyle for himself, his 'wife' and children,  Arulraj's actions are not simply a matter of concern for the 'local Church' but a legitimate concern for many people way beyond the Diocese of Nellore.

Bishop Prakasam's willingness to respond to those who are concerned (and from the feedback I have received, I can say with no exaggeration, outraged) about the matter aired on this blog is appreciated.  In posting Bishop Prakasam's email on this blog, I am happy for readers to consider thoughtfully what he says.  Reading the email I readily agree with what Bishop Prakasam says about God being merciful, loving and  forgiving, and that we are called to be merciful, loving and forgiving. However, with respect to Bishop Prakasam, most of what he says is not applicable to the concern of this blog which is precisely:  how someone like Gali Arulraj can have acted as he has acted and can continue to act as he is acting - and still remain a Catholic priest.   I hope that Bishop Prakasam will be willing to consider a reply to his email that I shall post in due course.

[Bishop Prakasam's email is reproduced without editing, except that the name of his principal correspondent has been removed]

My Dear [...] and all other Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings to you in the most precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is never my intention to offend you or any one. I only wanted you to understand and allow us to act as a local church. My dear Brothers I wish to share with you my inner spirit and request you to understand and stand with me.
1.   Of course I agree that someone raising funds internationally is a matter for concern for all. Usually when someone is appealing for funds as a Priest any individual Donor or Donor Agencies refer the matter to the Bishop of the Diocese and the Bishop will give either his approval or disapproval. That way I am always ready to respond to when such clarifications sought.
2.    When I say “Not in communion with the Bishop” I do not mean ‘excommunication’. It means that a priest is not carrying on any active ministry that is officially assigned  by the Bishop. He does not take part in any meetings, common celebrations and activities of the Diocese.
3.     My Dear Brothers and Sisters without in any way minimising your concerns I wish to share with you the following. In this case we have many options before us.
a.     Shall we be like Abel in the OT whose blood cried for vengeance for his on slaughter (Genesis 4:10) or shall we be like Jesus who in peak moment of His agony on the cross prayed for those who have crucified Him saying “Father Forgive them”. (Luke 23:34).
b.    Should we expect erring brother be a wanderer and fugitive like Cain? (Genesis 4:13-16). Or shall we pray and hope that like David will repent for his sins one day and experience the forgiveness and merciful love of God? (2. Samuel 12:13 & psalm 51).
c.     Shall we pray and hope that like the Father for the return of the prodigal son or shall we react like the eldest son? The prodigal son, in the sight of his father never ceased to be the son. Therefore great celebrations at his return. (Luke Ch.15).
d.   Shall we pray and hope our erring brother like Peter to repent and receive the forgiveness of the Lord whom he betrayed or shall we want him like Judas Iscariot not to have recourse to the mercy and forgiveness of God and end up his life as Judas did? (Mk. Ch. 14:66-72 & Mt. Ch. 27:3-10).
e.   Should we take up the stones and through at our erring brother or shall we like Jesus forgive him and pray for his conversion. (John 8:1-11).
f.     Should we not remind ourselves of the abundant love and mercy Christ has shown us and show the same love and mercy towards each other? We repeatedly say in the prayer Jesus taught us “Forgive our sins as we forgive those who sin against us”.
I have humbly paced before you in a fraternal way the spirit with which I operate. It is not my intention to justify any one or to undermine the feelings and concerns of any one. What you experience is quite natural but my prayer and humble appeal to you is to rise to the supernatural levels to which Christ has taken us through His suffering, death on the cross and by His Resurrection To celebrate Easter means to experience the immeasurable mercy and love of Christ individually and together as a Church. I have full respect to the law of the Church. I only wish to go by the spirit of the law rather than by the letter of it.
Recently it was brought to my notice how Arulraj Gali was meted with a very inhuman and most heinous treatment in the jail. He was beaten up the whole night and was made to accomplish some unspeakable acts. However guilty one might have been it pains me very much when any one of our Brother or Sister is treated that way.  I do also understand and have empathy for you too what you have been going through.
It is not my intention to preach but this is what defines our entity as Christians called to have the mind attitude like that of Christ. (Please see the attachment). I shall continue my efforts of going out in search of the lost sheep. (Luke 15:1-10). On my part I continue my efforts. I plead you to join me with your prayers and Christian charity. As St. Paul says our call is to “overcome the evil with goodness”. (Romans 9:21).
                Wish you and all a very meaningful and joyful Easter Festival.
                With much love and prayers.
                Yours fraternally in Christ,

+ Moses D. Prakasam.

[The attachment referred to in the final paragraph is reproduced below]

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Arulraj's scamming New Life Society website down

The scamming website has been down since 28 March
- not even its logo remains

Well, would you believe it again?!  It took a little longer, but after last week's removal of the Linked-In profile for "Fr Gali Arulraj" we now have the removal of the website of his scamming  "New Life Society for the Poor and Handicapped."

The website has been down for more than 24 hours, which suggests that there is not merely a temporary problem with it. If you go to the website you get a  HTTP 403 Forbidden notice, which indicates that access to the website is being deliberately denied by the server. It is too early to say whether the website might be made active again.

Given that Arulraj went to the trouble and expense of setting up the website as part of his scam to make money, its removal is very welcome.  In itself it has justified the presence of this blog.

The continued presence of this blog is also more than justified as a warning to anyone who is a potential victim of a scam by "Fr Gali Arulraj" or "Mr G.A. Raj" working for the "Dayananda Nilayam Society for Social Development", the "New Life Society for the Poor and Handicapped", or (another of his made-up charity names) the  "Home for the Orphans and Disabled Children."

The blog will also stay in order to draw attention to any new scams that come to my notice.

Of course, with the exposure that  "Mr G.A. Raj" was in fact Arulraj, he may have wanted his scamming New Life Society website removed as it was further evidence of his ongoing criminal activities. If there are any police officers, tax officials, Delhi Home Ministry officials, NGO Registration officials, FCRA investigators, or anybody else who needs evidence of the scamming website then they can still get that evidence.  I made copies of everything that was on the website and will be happy to make them available.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

"Father" Arulraj no more?

The Linked-In profile of "Fr Gali Arulraj" that is no more
 - removed today (22 March 2012)
Well, would you believe it?! This blog had its first viewers from India this morning, and a couple of hours later Arulraj has removed the Linked-In profile that he set up less than two months ago, in which he presented himself -- as a priest - as "Fr Gali Arulraj, Director of the New Life Society for the poor and handicapped."

(If you google the name "Gali Arulraj" the first thing that comes up still is a reference to the Linked-In profile. Although the link to the profile itself no longer works, you can still see Google's cached image of 6 March 2012.).

Dare we hope that Arulraj's conscience has been awakened and that he realises how greatly he insults the Catholic priesthood by presenting himself as a priest? 

Dare we hope that we are closer to the day when Arulraj is no longer able to present himself as a priest?

Let's see if the website of  his (scamming) "New Life Society" will be removed next.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Bishop Prakasam: Let Arulraj be Mr G.A. Raj

On his "New Life Society" website he wishes to be known as "Mr G.A. Raj"
Arulraj's preference for lay status should be facilitated as soon as possible

I started this blog the day after Arulraj's scamming website for "The New Life Society for the Poor and Handicapped" was brought to my attention. What I have written here gives anyone who is making an internet search connected with this "New Life Society" enough information to avoid being scammed, so this blog has served its primary purpose.

Maybe Arulraj will always be a scammer - that's up to him.  Nobody is born a scammer.  We choose whether we want to live honestly or whether we want to cheat others.  I wish Arulraj would choose a better life.  But it's up to him.

What is truly offensive, though, to any Catholic - and indeed to any decent human being - is to have someone scamming who is a priest.

And so the question posted in the sub-heading of the blog must be addressed:

How is it possible for a man to have a 'wife' and (at least) two children, to separate himself from his bishop for nearly 15 years, to be facing criminal charges for fraud, theft and other serious crimes, and even then to continue his scamming - and yet remain a Catholic priest?

With Arulraj's renewed scamming activities - online for all to see - his bishop must now surely address his status as a priest.  And if he does not, all Catholics are entitled to ask: why is he not doing something about Arulraj?

There is much more that could be said about Arulraj.  Perhaps one day I will post on this blog more evidence of his scamming activities. (I have enough evidence to keep me busy for a long time.) However, I would prefer not to. What has been posted is bad enough.  This blog was set up out of a sense of obligation to fellow Catholics and others who deserve better than to be scammed by a priest of the Diocese of Nellore who should have been dismissed from the clerical state long ago. I get no joy from posting what I have, and have no wish to post any more.  Whether or not more is posted depends on whether Arulraj continues to scam, and especially whether he continues to scam as a priest.  

This blog has highlighted the case of Arulraj, not that of Paulinraj, because I am not aware that Paulinraj is continuing to scam. Moreover, the case of Paulinraj is different from that of Arulraj.  Perhaps he might have been an honest and faithful priest if he hadn't been led astray by his uncle. Maybe there is still a chance that he could function as a priest. Unlike Arulraj, he at least does not  have (as far as I know - though not much would surprise me nowadays) responsibilities for a wife and children that are incompatible with continuing to function as a priest. Nevertheless he has been active systematically over many years in committing serious crimes that bring disgrace to him and dishonour to the priesthood. (And there is more to his crimes than has so far been publicly revealed.)  It is not sufficient for Bishop Prakasam to 'resolve' the matter by moving Paulinraj to a different part of the diocese (as parish priest with not only a care of souls but also with financial responsibilities) without any reparation for the serious harm that he has done.  Until there is an acknowledgement from Paulinraj of his serious wrongdoing, and a demonstration that he is truly sorry for what he is done and sincerely willing to make amends, how can he have any credibility functioning as a priest?

There are also aspects of Bishop Prakasam's handling of his two priests that I haven't raised here, that give me cause for concern. For now, I prefer not to raise them. I hope that when Bishop Prakasam reads this blog he may recognise the need for him to reconsider his policy of inaction.  Bishop Prakasam's inaction raises too many questions, as I informed him in an email two years ago (24 March 2010):

"As you acknowledge, I do understand the situation in India, but this in no way excuses your failure to discipline your priests. In particular, the fact that Arulraj (living with a woman who is publicly regarded as his 'wife', and with whom he has two children) has not yet been dismissed from the clerical state -- and, almost unimaginably, has not even been suspended from priestly ministry as is required by Canon Law* -- is nothing short of scandalous. To Catholics here, your failure to take action means you are giving your support and protection to your priests.  I am asked: Is the Bishop of Nellore a weak Bishop? Is he afraid to take action? Has he been intimidated by Arulraj and Paulinraj into not taking action? Have these priests got some sort of hold over him, so that he is effectively being blackmailed from taking action against them? Has the Bishop made an unworthy and shameful deal with the two priests, allowing them to continue in the priestly ministry if they give to the Diocese the money and properties at their disposal (when any criminal and civil cases against them have been concluded) obtained as a result of embezzling funds? Is the Bishop corrupt like his priests? When asked these questions I can only reply that I do not know the answers to any of them, but that I entirely agree with the questioners in deploring your inaction."
*According to Canon Law if a priest attempts marriage he incurs an automatic - latae sententiae - suspension.  If he is living as though he is married, then the bishop has to impose the suspension.

Can. 1394: 1. [...] a cleric who attempts marriage, even if only civilly, incurs a latae sententiae suspension. If, after warning, he has not reformed and continues to give scandal, he can be progressively punished by deprivations, or even by dismissal from the clerical state.

Can. 1395: 1. Apart from the case mentioned in can. 1394, a cleric living in concubinage, and a cleric who continues in some other external sin against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue which causes scandal, is to be punished with a suspension. To this, other penalties can progressively be added if after a warning he persists in the offence, until eventually he can be dismissed from the clerical state.
As though it were a defence of his inaction, Bishop Prakasam informed me, by email, as recently as 12 February 2012: "Fr. Arulraj denies of having contacted [sic] any Civil Marriage."

But in that case, Canon Law is crystal clear.  If there is doubt as to whether Arulraj has formally married, then given that he is known to be living as though he is married (with a 'wife' and children) then he "is to be punished with a suspension."  And the person who is to impose the suspension is the bishop.

Far from there being uncertainty as to how Bishop Prakasam should act, Canon Law is clear.  And on this matter, Canon Law reflects the opinion of just about every decent person who is surely appalled that someone like Arulraj - who has brought so much dishonour to the Catholic priesthood - could possibly remain a priest and be honoured with the title (still given to him by Bishop Prakasam in his February 2012 email) of "Fr" Arulraj. 

Not only should Arulraj have been suspended many years ago, but also his dismissal from the priesthood is long overdue. And the fact that, after all he has done, he continues to have the protection of the Bishop of Nellore inevitably raises the question: why?

When I met Bishop Prakasam in January 2007 I had the impression that he was a good and honest bishop. Of course, that doesn't count for a lot - for ten years I had believed that Arulraj and Paulinraj were good priests seeking to serve the poorest among whom they were working.  Two years ago I did not know the answers to the questions I raised in the email, reproduced above, to Bishop Prakasam.  I still do not know the answer to any of them.

For the sake of ensuring there is credibility not only in the presbyterate of the Diocese of Nellore, but also in the episcopate, I sincerely ask Bishop Prakasam: please resolve the scandal of "Father" Gali Arulraj now.

When a bishop refuses to take action...

Bishop Moses Prakasam of Nellore

When I first met Bishop Prakasam in January 2007, a few days after his installation as Bishop of Nellore, I told him about a case that was just then being reported concerning a priest in America, Fr Rodney Rodis. It had  come to light that the priest had embezzled six hundred thousand dollars (about £400,000) from parish funds to buy a property and fund a lifestyle for himself and (would you have guessed?) his 'wife' and children. 

Immediately Rodis' priestly faculties were suspended. He was subsequently convicted of embezzlement and is now serving an 18-year prison sentence. He is described in reports now as an ex-priest.

While there are certain similarities between the cases of Rodis and Arulraj, the latter case is much worse, in view of the scale of Arulraj's embezzlement (not only in terms of the amount itself, but the fact that one million pounds in India has a value far greater than it has in the US or UK), and the fact that his embezzlement was from funds donated to benefit the poorest of the poor. For heaven's sake: how much lower can you get than stealing money given to benefit disabled children who are in the most desperate need?  It also has very serious implications for the confidence that Catholics in wealthier countries can have when responding to appeals for donations from priests and religious in developing countries.

A major difference, however, is that Arulraj is still a priest who can legitimately call himself "Fr Gali Arulraj." He is not impeded from presenting himself as a priest and celebrating Mass.  And there is no indication that this state of affairs will ever change.

Bishop Prakasam has suggested that he cannot do anything until the matter is resolved in the criminal court. Apart from this being untrue in itself (as the Rodis case demonstrated), objections to Arulraj's (and Paulinraj's) behaviour go much further than the issue of their embezzlement of money.

As part of a longer email, dated 8 April 2010, to Bishop Prakasam I summarised the case against Arulraj and Paulinraj.

"In any case, it is false to suggest that the resolution of criminal charges is necessary before you can take action against your two priests.  The criminal charges against Arulraj and Paulinraj refer to such matters as their embezzlement of charitable funds, criminal conspiracy and fraud.  These charges are incidental to action required of you with respect to Arulraj, and are only partly relevant to action required of you with respect to Paulinraj.
[The Case Against Arulraj]
With respect to Arulraj, the action canonically requested (and required) of you does not depend on the resolution of the criminal case, because the grounds for action are not related to those criminal charges.  Rather, they are connected to such things as:  (i) his being publicly regarded as married, whether or not he is formally married, (ii) his having two children, for whom he has an ongoing responsibility,  with the woman who is understood to be his wife, (iii) his having separated himself from the authority of and obedience owed to the Bishop of Nellore since 1997/1998 (iii)  the unrepented violation of his sacred oaths of celibacy and obedience since 1997/1998, (iv) his simulation of working in Ongole with the permission of his bishop, as indicated by his having a chapel with the reserved Blessed Sacrament (which is not allowed without the bishop's approval), (v) his explicit declaration that the bishop had given him permission to work for his charitable organisation, in order that he could deceptively obtain funds from Catholics overseas, (vi)  his functioning as a priest since 1997/1998, especially his saying Holy Mass (publicly), which is a matter of scandal in view of the revelation that he had separated himself from his bishop and was living a family life incompatible with that of the priesthood, (vii) his malicious and untruthful allegations made publicly in print about your predecessor, Bishop Balaswamy, which are a cause of scandal.
[The Case Against Paulinraj]
With respect to Paulinraj, there are serious complaints unrelated to the criminal case in view of (i) his support for Arulraj's activities from 1997/1998, knowing that Arulraj was a priest who had separated himself from his bishop, (ii) his collaboration in Arulraj's deception that he was a priest in good standing with the diocese. Paulinraj took part in numerous conversations over the years in which I expressed concerns about the future running of the DNSSD projects if Bishop Balaswamy or his successor should transfer Arulraj to other diocesan duties.  Paulinraj was complicit in Arulraj's deception to the extent of telling me me untruthfully that  Bishop Balaswamy had visited the DNSSD projects in Ongole and that he had been impressed with them (iii)  his collaboration with Arulraj's attempt to raise money from Catholics overseas, who would not have supported him had they known he was not a priest in good standing, (iv) his collaboration with Arulraj even though he knew he had a 'wife' and children,  (v) his collaboration in the scandal of concelebrating Holy Mass with Arulraj during the period 1997/1998 - 2006, even though he knew that Arulraj had separated himself from the Bishop and was living a scandalous personal life, (vi) his own involvement with DNSSD, serving as Secretary/Treasurer, even though the Bishop had prohibited priests from holding positions of responsibility in non-diocesan charities.

Associated with the criminal case there are additional complaints with respect to Paulinraj, relating to his embezzlement of funds, criminal conspiracy, deception, fraud, etc.  The scandal, for example, of his fraudulently appealing for funds after the December 2004 tsunami would be, in itself, serious grounds for taking action against him."
In fact, Enable had made clear from the beginning of our discussions with Bishop Prakasam (as we had previously with Bishop Balaswamy) that our main concern was for the wellbeing of the disabled children we had been supporting.  We even said we would not pursue a criminal case against Arulraj and Paulinraj if only they would stand aside and enable us to continue, with the assistance of honest people in the area, to care for the children.  In my email to Bishop Prakasam I highlighted the fact that their actions were additionally reprehensible on account of their lack of concern for the wellbeing of children for whom they had assumed a responsibility:
[Using vulnerable children for financial gain and then abandoning them]
"I should just add that I have not given, above, an exhaustive list of complaints against either Arulraj or Paulinraj.  In particular, emphasis must be put on  the way that they used  hundreds of  vulnerable and disabled children for personal financial gain.  They accepted a responsbility for these children, but abandoned most of them when their misdeeds came to light. Even aside from the fact that they stole large sums of money that had been donated to help these children (not to enrich greedy priests), their behaviour after their criminal activities came to light is particularly worthy of censure.  Enable asked the two priests (particularly Paulinraj) to behave decently so that the children would not be adversely affected. However,  they refused to withdraw from the projects so that Enable could continue, with the assistance of other honest people, to provide care for the children.  In 2006 (before the problem with the priests/DNSSD emerged), Enable was providing funding for DNSSD to care for hundreds of disabled children -- for residential care, for surgical operations, for education, for scholarships, etc.  By 2007, having abandoned the vast majority of the children -- especially those with more serious disabilities, which required more attention --DNSSD had responsibility for less than 100 children, and we informed you of the first-hand evidence we had of the children receiving physical beatings as well as emotional abuse.  Hundreds of children were simply abandoned by Arulraj and Paulinraj, and the remaining few have not received adequate care.  Even if your two priests had done nothing else that was wrong, they must surely be answerable for the shameful abandonment of the children in their care, and the neglect of the remaining few (who were brought back to the institutions by Arulraj more to give the semblance of care than for the purpose of providing any real care).  The way in which the two priests used the disabled children as a business for financial gain, and subsequently abandoned or neglected them when their criminal activity was detected,  is surely among those sins listed as crying to heaven for vengeance."
To this email, like others before and after, the response was the same: nothing was done.


Bishop Prakasam's response to outragious allegations about his predecessor

During the years 2006 - 2009 Enable's UK supporters received a stream of letters from India.  Some were sent in Arulraj's name, or in the names of children or college students, seeking money.  It was obvious to all that they were written by Arulraj (not least because the Telugu-speaking children would not be able to understand let alone compose a letter written in English).  In an email, dated 9 May 2008, I informed Bishop Prakasam about a letter that made malicious allegations about his predecessor, Bishop Balaswamy.
"Even in the past week Enable's supporters have been receiving a letter, dated 24 April 2008, which was sent in the name of three students that we were supporting, but obviously it has been written and mailed by Arulraj and Paulinraj.   In addition to malicious and baseless allegations about me, the letter alleges that Enable sent £120,000 (one hundred and twenty thousand pounds) to Bishop Balaswamy for him to bribe Indian officials to take action against Arulraj.  The letter says that Bishop Balaswamy misused the whole amount and that when this was discovered he was removed from office and you were appointed in his place.  It is disgraceful that your two priests should be behind such a letter making such malicious lies about Bishop Balaswamy. They have confidence to do these things, because they expect that, as in the past, you will take no action against them.  
I ask you, please, to take heed of the grave scandal that this sort of letter is causing to our supporters, among whom are both Catholics and non-Catholics. And I ask you, please, to take heed of the grave scandal caused by your unwillingness to take proper disciplinary measures as called for by your episcopal office."
To this email, like others before and after, the response was the same: nothing was done.

Am I being so unreasonable in asking: why is the Bishop of Nellore doing nothing about this?

Monday, 19 March 2012

Why is Gali Arulraj still a priest?!

LinkedIn profile of "Fr Gali Arulraj" - screenshot of 17 March 2012

If Gali Arulraj were an 'ordinary  Joe' his actions, while contemptible, would not cause the same degree of consternation.  It is precisely because he is a priest that his behaviour has been truly shocking. Apart from the recent subterfuge of calling himself  "Mr G.A. Raj," Arulraj has insisted on using the title of "Fr Gali Arulraj" and introducing himself as a Catholic priest. It is as a Catholic priest that he has sent malicious letters (about me and others in Enable) to just about anyone he can think of including Archbishop Vincent Nichols (of Westminster) and my own bishop, Bishop Christopher Budd (of Plymouth Diocese). It is still how he presents himself on the LinkedIn profile set up in February 2012.  And when his case comes to trial, he and Paulinraj will be tried (and, if justice is served, convicted) as Catholic priests. 

Archbishop Vincent Nichols noted Arulraj's "act of considerable
deceit which surely has grave consequences."
The scandal of Arulraj - and also of Paulinraj - is compounded by the fact that neither of them has incurred so much as a suspension of their priestly faculties or, in fact, any disciplinary penalty from their bishop.

After discussions with informed people who were able to enlighten him about the situation with Arulraj, Archbishop Nichols wrote a letter, dated 18 October 2007, to Arulraj's bishop, Bishop Moses Doraboina Prakasam.  He asked for a clarification of the status of Arulraj, and said:
"I undestand from very reliable sources in this country that the accusations [against officials in Enable] that Fr Arulraj makes in his letter are not only unfounded but they are also part of an aggressive defence that he is mounting to defend himself against charges of fraud and theft.
I am of the impression that he has written to many of the Bishops of England and Wales. To have done so is an act of considerable deceit which surely has grave consequences."
Archbishop Nichols rightly pointed out to Arulraj's bishop that even for Arulraj to write a letter to bishops in England and Wales containing unfounded allegations was "an act of considerable deceit which surely has grave consequences."  Yet, for this act Arulraj suffered no consequences from his bishop.  And there have been no consequences, grave or otherwise, for Arulraj and Paulinraj, in spite of much more serious acts committed while presenting themselve as Catholic priests.

Since January 2007 I have met Bishop Prakasam in Nellore, India and in London. I have written to him countless times, asking time and time again for him to deal with the two priests.  After the first meeting in January 2007 he assured me that he would be taking appropriate action.   By email, he informed me on 21 May 2007: "I am initiating the process of giving a canonical conclusion to the status of Arulraj, as per the Cannon [sic] Law."  When I discovered a few months later that nothing in fact had been initiated I wrote to him on 26 November 2007, with a "formal request" for disciplinary action to be taken against Gali Arulraj and Vatakili Paulinraj. The letter said:

 In January, I informed you that Enable's Trustees do not believe that Enable, as an organisation, has a responsibility to ask you to discipline your priests.  However, individuals within Enable, including myself and other trustees, are entitled to express their opinions informally and even to raise matters formally with you.   
On several occasions since January, I have mentioned that I was expressing informally to you the sense of outrage caused by the behaviour of both Arulraj and Paulinraj,  and I have expressed an expectation that their bishop should take proper disciplinary action against them.  I am saddened that I have had to express my opinion so frequently, and that you have not taken any action.  A bishop who is conscious of his responsibilities when faced with the sorts of outrages committed by Arulraj and Paulinraj should take action without being asked formally to do so,  and I have not wanted to ask you formally to take action because this in itself suggests that you have been negligent in taking the action expected of you.
It is therefore with much regret that I am now writing to you, more ten months after I first raised these matters with you,  to ask you formally to take proper disciplinary action against your two priests.  Arulraj merits immediate suspension from all priestly ministry, with a further canonical process to consider whether he should be dismissed from the priesthood.  Paulinraj merits at least an immediate suspension from all public priestly ministry, including suspension from his position as parish priest.  There may well be grounds for further disciplinary action to be taken against Paulinraj, given his close association with Arulraj's activities.
You have already received details about the activities of Arulraj and Paulinraj from me, Bishop Balaswamy and [a diocesan official].  You have also received a copy of the charge sheets drawn up for their trial at the criminal court at Ongole [...]
Each of Enable's trustees has asked to be included in this formal request for discplinary action to be taken against Arulraj and Paulinraj.  The names of these trustees are  Ms Alison Davis, Mr Colin Harte, Mrs Eileen Brydon, Mrs Janet Thomas, Dr Hugh Heggary, and Mr Robin Haig.  The trustees are all Catholics and are fully informed of the actions of Arulraj and Paulinraj which they find entirely incompatible with that of the priestly ministry.  Like me, the trustees regret that you chose not to discipline your priests before now, and regret the need to ask you formally to take action.  Our formal request reflects the opinion expressed by many hundreds of supporters of Enable from both the laity and clergy.
Five years on from my first meeting with Bishop Nellore, no progress has been made.