Kerala Catholic priest, who joined BJP, suspended from parish duty

Fr Kuriakose Mattam (saffron shawl) poses with BJP members in Idukki on Monday. Photo: Facebook/KS Aji

Idukki: The Diocese of Idukki has suspended a priest from his parish duties for joining the BJP.

"Fr Kuriakose Mattam has been removed, temporarily, from the post of vicar of Mankuva church," read a press release issued by the diocese Monday night.

The bishop of the diocese, under the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, had convened an emergency meeting after it emerged on social media that one of their priests had defied church rules and taken membership in a political party.

A church representative told Onmanorama that members of the clergy were not allowed to take sides with political parties.

Fr Mattam was serving as the parish priest of St Thomas Church at Mankuva in Idukki.

Earlier, Fr Mattam accepted his primary membership from KS Aji, president of the BJP's Idukki district unit.

Wearing a saffron shawl, Fr Mattam said he does not think BJP was an anti-Christian party.

"It is essential for our times that people of all faith should come together. I hope to get more opportunities to work together," Fr Mattam said.

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