Girl’s family under pressure to withdraw complaint against priest

The following article appeared in the Times of India ,Nagpur Edition of Sept 21,2010.
Girl’s family under pressure to withdraw complaint against priest
Sep 21, 2010, 05.14am IST
Tags:girl molestation|father louis bhonsle

NAGPUR: Just a few months ago, they called her a brave girl. People were all praise for her courageous act of snatching back her grandmother’s purse from a thief who had broken into the family home in June.

But today, the same people are casting aspersions on her character after she filed a complaint against the priest of a religious venue who, she claims, outraged her modesty. The girl’s family said they were ‘under pressure’ from various quarters to withdraw the complaint.

Rosemary (name changed) was allegedly molested by 63-year-old priest, Father Louis Bhonsle, when she had gone to help him in his chamber after evening mass on Sunday. Father Bhonsle is the parish priest of Ajni parish.

The girl’s family is dejected as no one is supporting them. “Even the archbishop is not ready to cooperate with us. Since we have registered the complaint, we got calls from higher authorities to take back the complaint,” said the girl’s maternal uncle. Rosemary is a lively girl but ever since the incident, she hasn’t eaten anything. “She is so young that she could not understand what happened to her. Her only fault was that she was honest and didn’t hide the truth. My daughter doesn’t even know the meaning of the word ‘character’. How can people call her characterless?” the enraged mother asked.

Rosemary was in tears when she recalled the incident. “Every weekend, many people come forward to help the priests during and after mass. On Sunday, me and my elder sister were there to help the priest,” she said, adding that they collected donations from the parishioners after mass.

On Sunday, a priest had asked Rosemary to keep a money bag in Father Bhosle’s office. “When I went to the office, Father Bhonsle came out of his room and told Rosemary to keep the bag in his room. While she was doing so, he went inside and locked the door,” the girl’s elder sister said.

Rosemary continued, “The father opened the buttons of my red gown and touched me at inappropriate places. He placed his hands on my mouth and stopped me from screaming. I could also smell alcohol on his breath. He was wearing a lungi and a vest.”

The panicked girl told the priest that he knew her grandfather very well after which she was allowed to go. Rosemary opened the door and ran away. She went to her sister, who was in the adjacent room, changing her gown. Though Rosemary told her the incident, she did not believe her. The girl and her sister then rushed home and narrated the incident to the family members.

It was learnt that initially the family had gone to the priest’s house to confront him. “But he did not open the door and hence we went to the police station,” said a family member. Ajni police arrested Bhonsle at 4 am on Monday and freed him on bail a few hours later. The family said that since no support was forthcoming, they had to seek the backing of a political activist Raju Mishra.

Rosemary’s grandfather, who is unable to walk, said, “Since I can’t walk, I could not fight for my child. If god gives me a chance, I will shut the mouths of the people.” The family said that it was their family tradition to contribute their help at the church. “We believe that by serving God, we become closer to him. Hence, we allowed the girls to go there,” the girls’ grandmother said. “But who knew that the person we trusted a lot would betray us like this.” believe her. The girl and her sister then rushed home and narrated the incident to the family members.

Rosemary’s grandfather, who is unable to walk, said, “Since I can’t walk, I could not fight for my child. If god gives me a chance, I will shut the mouths of the people.”

The family said that it was their family tradition to contribute their help at the church. “We believe that by serving God, we become closer to him. Hence, we allowed the girls to go there,” the girls’ grandmother said. “But who knew that the person we trusted a lot would betray us like this.”

Read more: Girl’s family under pressure to withdraw complaint against priest – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/Girls-family-under-pressure-to-withdraw-complaint-against-priest/articleshow/6596592.cms#ixzz10HOfT2JQ

About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
This entry was posted in Church in India. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Girl’s family under pressure to withdraw complaint against priest

  1. Gordon Jacobs says:

    There you have it.I believe its best now that we Catholics approach NGOs and the police and expose these peverts we have as our clergy in the catholic church.These horney fellows need to be defrocked by the church immediately. I for one have lost complete faith the the functioning and administration of the catholic Church in India. We are all being made fools by the cardinals, bishops and priests who besides having issues on assets and properties we now are faceing sexual abuse. Do these peverts realise they have ruined the child and woman”s life forever. If the church and the Indian law cannot handle this may be the time has come for us to take the law in our hands and punish these perverted Catholic priests. Let us focus on our “religious” and not discuss it also happens in other religions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s