In a first, a Kerala Catholic priest joins BJP; Idukki diocese mulls disciplinary action

Fr Kuriakose Mattam is welcomed by KS Aji, president of BJP's Idukki district unit. Photo: Manorama News

In a first, an active Catholic priest has joined the BJP in Kerala.

The Diocese of Idukki has confirmed that Fr Kuriakose Mattam, aged 73, has taken a primary membership in the political party.

A representative of the diocese told Onmanorama that it has been trying to contact the priest.

The Bishop has convened an emergency meeting over the unprecedented development and disciplinary action is most likely.

"Members of the clergy are not allowed to side with a political party. The simple reason being that a parish will have people of different political views and a priest cannot be partisan," the representative of the diocese told Onmanorama.

The priest received his membership from KS Aji, president of BJP's Idukki district unit on Monday. Aji has shared photographs from the event on his social media pages.

Fr Mattam has been serving as the parish priest of St Thomas Church, Mankuva for the last three years. He has two more years until retirement.

The priest has not responded to calls seeking a comment. Meanwhile, KS Aji said the priest told them he doesn't think BJP is an anti-Christian party.

Aji has claimed that Fr Mattam decided to join the BJP after 'keenly observing' the recent developments.

In May, the Kerala Catholic Bishops' Council had urged the Narendra Modi-led BJP government to bring about a peaceful solution in Manipur.

More than 180 people have died and several hundreds injured since ethnic clashes broke out in Manipur on May 3. In Manipur, Christians make up 41% of the population.

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