SEPTEMBER 30, 2017
Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor
SCANDALS AND COURT CASES – 01
THE REASONS FOR OUR CONTINUING THIS SERIES** ON DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE
1. The spirituality of the Divine Retreat Centre [DRC] run by the Vincentian Congregation is “charismatic”. One comes away from DRC with the impression that both, preachers as well as regular retreatants, behave like they are “superior” in some way to other Catholics. Preachers treat retreatants as if they have come to the Centre with spiritual begging bowls. It doesn’t matter (unless you are preaching at DRC) if you have your own ministry/apostolate back in your home town.
While I am very traditional in my beliefs and orthopraxis, my spirituality is also charismatic.
I must add that one of my spiritual directors, an orthodox French Benedictine priest, actually finds it impossible to reconcile my orthodoxy with my being “charismatic”. To him it’s an oxymoron. To me, it seems a natural thing.
I have attended literally dozens of retreats and special events including a Bible College and a training programme in Counselling at the DRC between 1995 and 2000. I still do, as in the past, recommend to others these retreats for the reason that the preaching of the Word of God at the DRC has led to the transformation of many lives.
However, it is generally accepted that the contents of the retreat programmes have not evolved much since their inception over two decades ago and the retreats have continued to be by and large what can only be termed as an “initiation” into the Faith. This has resulted in little growth in the spiritual lives of most regular retreatants for whom the Centre becomes a place of pilgrimage and recourse when in need. Many, lacking “solid food” which they now pursue, end up as Pentecostals.
2a. It has been my observation for a very long time that the Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor, has been the propagator of errors and abuses, including in the liturgy of the Mass, something that, as an apologist, I now find impossible to ignore.
I admit adhering to and participating in most if not all of them at one time or another for several reasons, the chief among them being ignorance; moreover, no one objected to them and almost every charismatic priest, religious and lay leader practised them. However, circumstances — and the personal counsel of some good CCR leaders who would like to see these abuses and errors stopped — make it imperative that they be now exposed. Some teachings at the DRC are not Catholic.
2b. It has been my experience — when I have pointed out these errors and abuses from time to time — that most die-hard devotees of the Divine Retreat Centre are not very receptive to fraternal correction of any sort, or even discussion of the possibility of the Centre being in error. Their responses have ranged from indulgence to hostility. My pointing out that I am only appealing to the teaching of the Church has not saved me from being labeled “anti-Divine Retreat Centre”.
The DRC has become an untouchable holy cow for many and any criticism is viewed as bordering on the sacrilegious.
In case my statements appear outrageous, let the reader be assured that I will provide the necessary evidence to support them.
3. The focus of the first article in the series was on DRC‘s Enneagrams proponent, Sri Lankan preacher Lalith Perera; see DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-01,
It was originally published as ENNEAGRAM PRACTITIONER MINISTERS AT DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE.
The Enneagram is a New Age, occult personality-typing system. See ENNEAGRAMS SUMMARY
for more information on Enneagrams.
Despite the evidence provided to its Director, Fr Augustine Vallooran VC and letters of protest sent to him by several Catholics, DRC continues to invite occult-tainted Lalith Perera to minister at the Centre every year sine our report in 2006.
4. The immediate reason for this series on the Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor, was the refusal of priests at the Centre to engage in civil correspondence with us in regard to our genuine concern about their promotion of a controversial mystic, see our September 2012 report MAUREEN SWEENEY-HOLY LOVE MINISTRIES
http://ephesians-511.net/docs/MAUREEN_SWEENEY-HOLY_LOVE_MINISTRIES.doc. This resulted in the report DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-02, http://ephesians-511.net/docs/DIVINE_RETREAT_CENTRE_ERRORS-02.doc.
If that attitude was an isolated one, there would have been no necessity for this series. Unfortunately, it was a repeat of the 2006 enneagram preacher DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-01 issue. These first two reports of the series** do indeed confirm that the Divine Retreat Centre indeed does not take kindly to fraternal correction or attempt to correct serious error. More evidence of that will be provided. **PAGE 10
The Vincentian Fathers have either never replied to my letters drawing their attention to errors that are propagated at their retreat centres and in the Indian church at large, or if they ever did, as in the cases of the Enneagram proponent Lalith Perera [DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-01] and the controversial mystic Maureen Sweeney‘s devotions [DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-02], the letters are evasive or harsh.
5. In closing DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-02, I wrote, “Apparently, the Divine Retreat Centre has made a habit of promoting false mystics, one such being a Greek Orthodox woman, Vassula Ryden whose messages have been condemned by Rome as dangerous” and to be shunned by Catholics.
That was the subject of the next report,
DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-03
6. The fourth report in the series is on the use of Hindu and superstitious marks on forehead and face by the Centre’s Catholic devotees and retreatants. See
DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-04
7. The fifth report concerns the top echelons of the DRC‘s Vincentian administration’s dalliance with yoga.
DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-05
8. The sixth report
DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-05-B
is a continuation of the above. I had written to the DRC-Muringoor priests, received a response from Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC at long last, and wrote a rebuttal to which he never replied.
9. The seventh report
DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-07 concerns a retreat given by Edmund Antao‘s “Crusaders for Jesus with Mary” team from Vasco, Goa at the Divine retreat Centre, Muringoor.
Edmund Antao and the Crusaders for Jesus with Mary team have conducted “pilgrimage” tours to Naju, Korea, to the site where Julia Kim claims to experience heavenly visitations and phenomena such as consecrated hosts mysteriously materializing and falling from the sky to the ground, consecrated hosts becoming flesh and blood on her tongue, etc. An Indian bishop and several priests have accompanied Edmund Antao and the Crusaders for Jesus with Mary team to Naju and celebrated Mass there. The local ordinary and the Korean Bishops’ Conference have ruled against the alleged seer and the site, advising Catholics to stay away. The
local bishop has issued a decree excommunicating all those who even visit the alleged apparition site. Despite the Korean Bishops’ condemnations and warnings, Edmund Antao and the Crusaders for Jesus with Mary team propagate the messages of Julia Kim and lead tours to Naju. This amounts to gross defiance of and disobedience to the Catholic Church.
The team also conducts charismatic retreats at different places in India, mostly at the invitation of bishops, but also at the behest of regional service teams.
During these retreats they speak about Julia Kim and their Naju experience, offering two CDs on sale, one in Konkani and the other in English, thus promoting the banned site nation-wide.
The detailed report can be accessed at
JULIA KIM-MARYS ARK OF SALVATION
I quote from my concluding statements in the above report:
“Those who propagate the alleged mystic Julia Kim and her messages, those who conduct pilgrimages to Naju, and those who argue on her behalf as well as on the behalf of her supporters in defiance of the bishops’ pronouncements, are guilty of being “not in union with magisterium“: “… all who fail to follow the directives are to be considered as willfully opposing the magisterium, the Catholic Church’s divinely guided authority to teach true doctrine.”
In effect, they have incurred automatic excommunication.”
10. The eighth report DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-08 questions the DRC‘s consistent condemnation of the consumption of alcoholic beverages as nothing short of mortal sin, with no allowance for any exceptions.
11. In the last-referred file, I wrote more than FOUR years ago in June 2013:
“The news is that former Hindu-turned-Catholic preacher John Paul had signed a five-year contract with DRC at the end of which he left the Catholic Church and joined a Pentecostal congregation in Kerala. So much for an individual who was for five years their star speaker [in nine Indian languages if I remember correctly] on the elite inner circle of Fr. Augustine Vallooran‘s team and privy to all the intrigue at the Centre.
Some say it was ‘for money’, others believe that he was disillusioned by what he saw and experienced for five years. During his tenure he avoided contact with retreatants.
He has not been the first DRC preacher to leave the Church or to leave DRC, trailing a host of unanswered questions. Other DRC stars have preceded or followed him, some like Paul Ganesh Iyer, the singing duo Abey and Swapna, Vinu Philip who testified at the couples’ programmes, etc. leaving a trail of deceit, scandal, divorce and reversion to drugs and alcohol. The attrition rate of DRC preachers has been abnormally high. Their succumbing to the very sins that they themselves railed against after being projected as shining examples of virtue and Catholicity begs looking deeper into and this will be done over this series of reports.”
And in DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-01, I wrote as far back as August 2006, ELEVEN years ago (see 2b. above) “In case my statements appear outrageous, let the reader be assured that I will provide the necessary evidence to support them.”
I believe that the time to fulfil my promises and provide that evidence is now.
Why do I believe that the time … is now?
In March 2017, I came to know that a Director of one of the Vincentian Congregations’ dozens of retreat centres (in India and overseas) is a rapist. He is Fr. Joby Kachappilly VC, formerly Director of Divine Retreat Ashram, Faridabad and former Director of Divine Retreat Centre, Toronto.
Fr. Joby is the second most prolific author http://vincentiancongregation.org/home/publications/2 in the Congregation with 15 titles to his name between 2004 and 2016. He has 9 audio CDs in Malayalam, English and Hindi to his credit (http://vincentiancongregation.org/home/publications/3) and 1 video CD in English (http://vincentiancongregation.org/home/publications/4).
I was requested by two young women who were sexually molested/raped by the priest to take up their case with the Vincentian Congregation with the purpose of getting them to apologize and defrock and laicize the priest who has used his preaching and music ministry to make sexual advances on many women over the years in Faridabad, in Bangalore and in Toronto, Canada.
I took up the matter telephonically at first, and then by email. I even approached the hierarchical Church. When we got nowhere after four or five months, we proceeded to write a petition to the Government of India’s National Commission for Women (NCW), Delhi and also to file a First Information Report (F.I.R.) with the police in Bangalore. Even as we were engaged in the filing of the F.I.R., the Vincentians jointly with the Church deputed three priests to meet with our team and the rape victims, asking us to refrain from seeking justice legally. However, the meeting (at which we provided sufficient evidence both materially as well as by the personal deposition of a victim of the priest) turned out to be quite fruitless with the Vincentians then appointing an “Enquiry Committee” to examine the matter, writing to us asking for evidence (though they have enough), and calling us all to meet with them at their Provincial House in Kerala.
Meanwhile, some senior Vincentian priests engaged in intimidation of the victims directly themselves or through other individuals by personal visits to their homes, WhatsApp and email messages, and telephone calls to induce them to withdraw the case.
Fr. Joby Kachappilly continues to hang out at Ramsgate in the U.K. despite the “documentation” provided to me by his Provincial Fr. James Kallumkal vide a letter to the priest declining him permission to leave Rome (where he is now officially living under the guise of pursuing “higher studies”) and go to the U.K. for “preaching ministry” at their retreat centre in Ramsgate. Our enquiries reveal that the rapist is at Ramsgate since at least two months and has been preaching alongside a senior priest Fr. George Panackal VC who has contacted me several times over the ‘phone from Ramsgate requesting me to withdraw all reports concerning Fr. Joby from my web site and offering to reimburse the case-related expenses incurred by me if I did so.
At present, the NCW has written to the Commissioner of Police, Chennai, to proceed as per the law.
As far as the Vincentians are concerned, they have so far not apologized to the molested/raped girls, and the victims’ demand for defrocking and laicizing the predator priest appears to be going nowhere. The details of the above are chronicled in files serial nos. 04-07, 09-16 and 19-22 below.
RAPE AND SEXUAL ABUSE BY INDIAN PRIESTS-CHURCH FAILS TO PUNISH GUILTY 01
MARCH 2015/24, 26 OCTOBER 2016/24 JANUARY/28 FEBRUARY/4 MARCH 2017 (General)
RAPE AND SEXUAL ABUSE BY INDIAN PRIESTS-CHURCH FAILS TO PUNISH GUILTY 02
17/22 JUNE 2017 (General continued)
RAPE AND SEXUAL ABUSE BY INDIAN PRIESTS-CHURCH FAILS TO PUNISH GUILTY 03
18 JUNE 2017
(FR. ROBIN VADAKKUNCHERIL)
RAPE AND SEXUAL ABUSE BY INDIAN PRIESTS-CHURCH FAILS TO PUNISH GUILTY 04
22/28 JUNE/2 JULY 2017 (CORRESPONDENCE RELATED TO RAPE COMMITTED BY FR. JOBY KACHAPPILLY VC)
RAPE AND SEXUAL ABUSE BY INDIAN PRIESTS-CHURCH FAILS TO PUNISH GUILTY 05 (PROFILE OF FR. JOBY KACHAPPILLY, THE ABSCONDING RAPIST PRIEST HIDING IN ROME)
RAPE AND SEXUAL ABUSE BY INDIAN PRIESTS-CHURCH FAILS TO PUNISH GUILTY 06
(FINAL NOTIFICATION TO THE INDIAN CHURCH) 10 JULY 2017
RAPE AND SEXUAL ABUSE BY INDIAN PRIESTS-CHURCH FAILS TO PUNISH GUILTY 07 (INTIMIDATION AND BLACKMAIL OF RAPE SURVIVOR BY FR JOHN PUTHANPURACKAL VC) 10 JULY 2017
RAPE AND SEXUAL ABUSE BY INDIAN PRIESTS-CHURCH FAILS TO PUNISH GUILTY 08
(RELUCTANCE TO COOPERATE IN EXPOSING RAPE BY PRIESTS AND ACTIVE HOMOSEXUALITY IN THE SEMINARIES) 10 JULY 2017
RAPE AND SEXUAL ABUSE BY INDIAN PRIESTS-CHURCH FAILS TO PUNISH GUILTY 09 (PROPOSED RETREAT BY RAPIST-PRIEST FR. JOBY KACHAPPILLY VC AT ST. MICHAEL’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, SHARJAH, SEPTEMBER 2-4, 2017) 2 AUGUST 2017
RAPE AND SEXUAL ABUSE BY INDIAN PRIESTS-CHURCH FAILS TO PUNISH GUILTY 10 (RETREAT BY FR. JOBY KACHAPPILLY VC AT ST. MICHAEL’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, SHARJAH, CANCELLED) 3 AUGUST 2017
RAPE AND SEXUAL ABUSE BY INDIAN PRIESTS-CHURCH FAILS TO PUNISH GUILTY 11 (FR. JOBY KACHAPPILLY VC IN HIDING IN ROME CONTINUES TO CONDUCT RETREATS OVERSEAS WITH SUPPORT FROM HIS CONGREGATION) 8 AUGUST 2017
RAPE AND SEXUAL ABUSE BY INDIAN PRIESTS-CHURCH FAILS TO PUNISH GUILTY 12 (COMPLAINT AGAINST RAPIST FR. JOBY KACHAPPILLY VC LODGED WITH NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR WOMEN) 20 AUGUST 2017
RAPE AND SEXUAL ABUSE BY INDIAN PRIESTS-CHURCH FAILS TO PUNISH GUILTY 13 (BANGALORE MEETING WITH VINCENTIAN PRIESTS AND CHURCH REPRESENTATIVE IN FR. JOBY KACHAPPILLY VC CASE) 20 AUGUST 2017
RAPE AND SEXUAL ABUSE BY INDIAN PRIESTS-CHURCH FAILS TO PUNISH GUILTY 14 (FR. JOBY KACHAPPILLY VC IN HIDING IN ROME CONTINUES TO CONDUCT RETREATS OVERSEAS WITH SUPPORT FROM HIS CONGREGATION – 02) 27 AUGUST 2017
RAPE AND SEXUAL ABUSE BY INDIAN PRIESTS-CHURCH FAILS TO PUNISH GUILTY 15 (SOME EVIDENCE AGAINST THE CRIMINAL PRIEST FR. JOBY KACHAPPILLY VC AND HIS ASSOCIATES) 28 AUGUST 2017
RAPIST PRIEST FR. JOBY KACHAPPILLY-THE CATHOLIC CHURCHS GURMEET RAM RAHIM SINGH
28 AUGUST 2017
RAPE AND SEXUAL ABUSE BY INDIAN PRIESTS-CHURCH FAILS TO PUNISH GUILTY 17 (VINCENTIAN PRIEST FR. SAM KOONAMPLACKIL OF LOGOS RETREAT CENTRE MOLESTS WOMEN) 30 AUGUST 2017
RAPE AND SEXUAL ABUSE BY INDIAN PRIESTS-CHURCH FAILS TO PUNISH GUILTY 18 (COMPLAINT RECEIVED AGAINST FR. JACOB VELLIAN AND HIS ARCHBISHOP) 3 SEPTEMBER 2017
RAPE AND SEXUAL ABUSE BY INDIAN PRIESTS-CHURCH FAILS TO PUNISH GUILTY 19 (FR. JOBY KACHAPPILLY VC IN HIDING IN ROME CONTINUES TO CONDUCT RETREATS OVERSEAS WITH SUPPORT FROM HIS CONGREGATION – 03) 14 SEPTEMBER 2017
RAPE AND SEXUAL ABUSE BY INDIAN PRIESTS-CHURCH FAILS TO PUNISH GUILTY 20 (FR. JOBY KACHAPPILLY VC IN HIDING IN ROME CONTINUES TO CONDUCT RETREATS OVERSEAS WITH SUPPORT FROM HIS CONGREGATION – 04) 27 SEPTEMBER 2017
RAPE AND SEXUAL ABUSE BY INDIAN PRIESTS-CHURCH FAILS TO PUNISH GUILTY 21 (VEDIKA PEREIRA SPEAKS UP FOR FR. JOBY) 27 SEPTEMBER 2017
RAPE AND SEXUAL ABUSE BY INDIAN PRIESTS-CHURCH FAILS TO PUNISH GUILTY 22 (NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR WOMEN WRITES TO COMMISSIONER OF POLICE) 30 SEPTEMBER 2017
While we were on the Fr. Joby case, we were informed that Fr. Sam Koonamplackil VC, the Director of Logos Retreat Centre, Bangalore was sexually molesting female counselees. The oral complaints made to his immediate superior and associate, Fr. Jose Vettiyankal VC, were rejected. As required by him, we lodged a complaint against the priest in writing under copy to Fr. James Kallumkal, the Marymatha Provincial Superior, but they did not respond.
I also came across the story of ex-Vincentian priest Shibu Kalamparambil.
1. After nun, former priest writes a tell-all book on sexual exploitation
By Shaju Philip, Thiruvananthapuram, September 1, 2010
Barely a year after a former Catholic nun (Sr. Jesme)
wrote in her autobiography about the suppressed sexual life and draconian rules within the convents, a former Catholic priest has come out with his own experiences of homosexuality at seminaries, sexual misconduct of priests, lack of transparency in money matters and the unfair approach of superiors.
In his 160-page book, Here is the Heart of a Priest, K P Shibu Kalamparambil has written about life he had had to lead as member of the Catholic Vincentian congregation for past 24 years — 11 years as priest, 13 as seminarian.
The 39-year-old former priest left the Catholic order in March 2010, and flew to Doha where he joined as a teacher with an Indian school. A native of Angamaly near Kochi, Shibu has found his leave period to release and distribute the book.
“I have faced stiff opposition from the Vincentian congregation and my family alike when I broached the idea of publishing my story.” His book is an open letter about alleged sexual anarchy of priests, injustice meted out to members and mismanagement of resources at a Catholic order.
“Three times I had met with road accident. As my Congregation failed to support me, I had to meet the hospital bills on all occasions.” “While working as a teacher with the Congregation-run educational institution in Kasaragod, I had to face agitations from student outfits. The Congregation did not come to my rescue. When a priest is insulted continuously…, what is the logic in the Church saying that he should suffer everything for Jesus?”
On his early days at Papal Seminary in Pune, Shibu alleges he was sexually abused by senior seminarians. “Homosexual relations were rampant in seminaries. The victims had to suffer silently. If they complain…, both the accused and the victim would be shown the door. Hence, succumbing to the urges of the seniors was the only option…”
“During pastoral work, the seminarians used to travel on cycles. While moving around on a cycle, seminarians made a point to give lift to children. They (children) would be asked to tightly embrace the riding seminarian. Such acts were done with deliberate sexual intention,” he alleges in the book. “There had been incidents of senior seminarians pretending as priests and hearing confessions.”
He alleges several priests sexually exploited widows or nuns sexually. He also alleges, “Certain priests have no qualms to divert donations from believers for their personal purposes. Church funds should be handled by government agencies…”
Shibu himself is the publisher of his work, which has only 100 copies in the first edition. “I am planning a second edition of 10,000 copies.”
Provincial-General of Vincentian Congregation Fr Paul Puthuva said he would comment after reading the book.
Fr Paul Thelakkattu, spokesperson for the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, said: “Unfortunately the Church is one in which people like him are also living and working… He has simply betrayed the trust of the faithful.”
In 2009, Sister Jesme had embarrassed the Kerala Catholic Church by writing about her sexual encounters with priests in her work Amen.
2. Kerala church shocked by sex allegations
September 2, 2010
Kerala’s Syro-Malabar Church has been rocked by the release of a controversial book which accuses its clergy of a range of misdemeanours and abuses. An official has responded by describing the book as “an all-out attempt to malign the Church.”
Here is the Heart of a Priest, the autobiography of Shibu Kalaparamban, a former member of the Church’s Vincentian congregation, was officially launched on Sep. 2.
It alleges that Catholic priests and nuns have broken the vows of chastity and engaged in sexual sins including homosexuality, child abuse and illicit relations. The author narrates confessions he has heard, to substantiate his allegations.
Kalaparamban, who was a priest for 13 years, told ucanews.com that “homosexuality and blue films have become part of religious life.”
“I have read the book and feel very sorry about what is written. It is unfortunate,” said Father Paul Thelakat, spokesperson for the Syro-Malabar Church, who went on to say that the book “finds only perversions in the Church.”
Father Thelakat also alleges that the Papal seminary in Pune, where the former priest was trained, advised his superiors not to ordain him but they did so out of compassion. (So now they ordain priests “out of compassion”!!!!! –Michael)
“It is a pity he was a priest throughout these years and he has heard confessions and given spiritual guidance. He has simply betrayed the trust of the faithful, divulging even confessional secrets to the public,” said Father Thelakat said.
Kalaparamban, who now lives in Qatar and was suspended when he left Kerala without permission, claimed that he wrote the book only after “detailed thought and discussions.”
A similar controversy broke out in Kerala in 2009, when the autobiography of former nun Jesme alleged a prevalence of sexual abuse and lesbianism in Catholic convents
3. “A Life Is Not Born In The Church. The Nun Is Forced To Abort…”
The priest, whose memoirs were published in 2010, on the sexual misconduct of priests and financial irregularities
July 23, 2012
Father Shibu Kalamparambil, 40, was defrocked from the Vincentian Congregation after 12 years as a priest. His memoir Oru Vaidikante Hrudayamitha (The Heart of a Priest) was published in 2010.
Why did you decide to write the book?
I had aired my views about the sexual misconduct of priests and financial irregularities many times but they were not willing to correct themselves. So I wrote this book and for four years I showed it to near and dear ones and to those inside the Church. They advised me not to publish it, they said it would be catastrophic. They kept saying that things will be corrected but they never were so I published my book.
What is the Church establishment’s response when a priest makes a complaint?
The complaints are dealt with by the bishops and they influence the laity. If a woman among the laity becomes pregnant because of a priest or a bishop, they build houses or give money to them and hush it up.
What happens when a nun gets pregnant?
A life is not born in the church. When it comes to the nuns, they either make her abort the child or she is sent out of the church. If the nun tries to take it up, then she is ostracised by society.
What about the financial irregularities?
Financial irregularities are rampant. The priest collects money in the name of reconstruction of the church. The laity who come to church donate in good faith. But some of the priests, they never reveal the exact amount to the parishioners…they take their share and hand over the remaining to the church.
4. To cast the first stone
July 23, 2012
Father Shibu Kalamparambil in his memoir Oru Vaidikante Hrudayamitha (The Heart of a Priest) writes:
“The convents and nunneries are being converted into brothels. The priests have sex with the nuns at night in these convents. Because of these acts, the chastity of the priests and nuns has come under suspicion. Their love for God has shrunk … some of the clergy protect their chastity by watching pornography and reading pornographic material. They lose themselves in this habit. These books and DVDs are kept in secret places and can’t be found easily.”
Fr Shibu says his parents were threatened by the Church. They were even told that they would not be buried in the church cemetery if they accepted him back home.
Concerning the very recent Fr Robin Vadakkumchery rape and impregnation case (report no. 03),
Shibu Kalamparambil has this to say:
I strongly believe that the family may have tried to hush up the rape after pressure was mounted on them from top echelons in the Church. A priest alone will not be able to cover up such a serious crime… Many believe this and never report incidents of sexual abuse to the authorities. This has been encouraging priests to continue with their immoral activities. The bishops turn a blind eye as it will affect the very survival of the Church…
Source: Rape by Church priest: A redux of spotlight in Kerala
By Sandeep Balakrishna, March 14, 2017
In 2010, see page 6, “Provincial-General of Vincentian Congregation Fr Paul Puthuva said he would comment after reading the book” written by ex-Vincentian priest K P Shibu Kalamparambil on the sexual abuses rampant in the seminary and in the Church at large, and thus evaded committing himself by speaking.
Fr. Paul Puthuva VC
is the very same Provincial who we first contacted in the Fr. Joby Kachappilly VC case in March 2017 and who had stonewalled our efforts to get the sexual molestation and rape of young women by Fr. Joby Kachappilly VC investigated in the presence of the latter.
If Shibu Kalamparambil was “suspended when he left Kerala without permission” and proceeded to Doha/Qatar, see page 6, why hasn’t Fr. Joby Kachappilly been suspended for leaving Rome (where he is supposed to be officially living under the guise of pursuing “higher studies” whereas he is actually in hiding because his sexual promiscuity has been exposed) and going to the U.K. for “preaching ministry” at their retreat centre in Ramsgate along with Fr. George Panackal VC?
The duplicity and cunning of the Vincentian priests has made Catholics lose respect for their Congregation. On my part, having been a regular retreatant at Divine Retreat Centre (DRC), Muringoor, in the mid and late 1990s, and corresponded with a few of the staff there, I have been aware of many sad and some fearful things but I have remained silent. Till now.
A few years ago, when the Kerala High Court case against DRC was at its most active, I went to Kochi, to depose before Justice K. Padmanabhan Nair and relate my personal experiences. However, I had a change of heart and returned home.
Again, many years ago, I recall sharing with one of the stalwarts of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Bangalore that I was inclined to write an exposé on DRC but she requested me not to do so, saying that it would be “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.
Earlier today, I had written an email (file serial no. 22) to the newly constituted “Enquiry Committee” under the Provincial Superior on the Fr. Joby rape case, with copy to Fr. Augustine Vallooran, Director, DRC, Muringoor, saying, “I must also inform you that because there has been abysmally little progress with your Provincial Superior predecessor and you in the case since I took up the matter in March 2017 (SEVEN months ago), I am now constrained to begin publishing a whole slew of reports on the scandals and court cases of the Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor. I have been preserving this information and documentation carefully since the mid and late 1990s and had not put them online for the sake of the Church. I do not see any reason anymore to conceal what I know. Things have only gotten much, much worse.
My forthcoming reports will underline that sad reality. The “charismatic” Vincentian Congregation, to which you all belong, judging by the behaviour of those we have interacted with, appears to be rotten to its very core and should be derecognized if not very severely disciplined.”
The Congregation wields tremendous financial and political clout in the state of Kerala and far beyond, and as a result, most of the legal action against the DRC has come to naught but there can be no smoke without a fire. I believe that Catholics must now be made aware, and so I write…
THE VINCENTIAN CONGREGATION AND THEIR DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE AT MURINGOOR
THE CONGREGATION BELONGS TO THE SYRO-MALABAR RITE OF THE CHURCH
The Vincentian Congregation is a clerical society in the Syro-Malabar Church with its Generalate at Edappally in the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly. It comes under the category of the Societies of Common Life according to the manner of religious. It is of Pontifical Right.
The Congregation was founded on 20 November 1904 as a Koventha at Thottakom by Fr. Varkey Kattarath with three diocesan priests, with the approval and encouragement of Mar Louis Pazheparampil, the first Vicar Apostolic of Ernakulam. The Koventha was based on the Common Rules of St. Vincent de Paul and on the model of the Congregation of the Mission, founded by him in 1625. However, due to various reasons beyond their control, all of them, including the founder Fr. Kattarath, were forced to disperse by 1915.
After some years, Rev. Frs. George Mannara, Antony Pauvathil and George Vattamkandathil expressed their desire to lead a religious life to Mar Augustine Kandathil, the then Archbishop of Ernakulam who directed them to revive the religious community once founded at Thottakom. Accordingly they revived it and began the community life at Thottakom on 19 July 1927. Fr. Varkey Kattarath joined them at Thottakom in October 1927. The Koventha at Thottakom was officially called the Vincentian Congregation in 1938.
Spirit and Charism
The spirit of the Congregation is the participation in the spirit of Christ, ever active in the church, lived and recommended by St. Vincent – an intimate, personal love of the Father, docility to the divine providence and an ardent, compassionate love of the poor. The Congregation draws its spirit and distinctive character from the life and works, and the Common Rules of St. Vincent de Paul who is chosen as the Father and Patron of the Vincentian Congregation. “To preach the Good News to the poor” (Lk.4: 18) is the motto of the Congregation. As visualized by St. Vincent, we strive to give expression to the spirit of Christ, resplendent in the five virtues of simplicity, humility, meekness, mortification and zeal for the salvation of souls. The ardent and compassionate love of the poor inspires the Vincentians to work hard and to do their best to improve the conditions of the poor, and to share their lot by adopting a humble and simple life style. A whole-hearted commitment to the evangelization of the poor and their human and Christian advancement is the identifying mark and charism of the congregation.
The charism of the Congregation is realized by the preaching of the Word of God, missionary works among non-Christians as well as in the educational, social and charitable apostolate in order to help the poor in their integral development.
1. Popular Mission is the specific form of preaching the Word of God undertaken by the Vincentians. It is a special type of retreat aimed at the thorough renewal of parishes. Such parish retreats are appreciated and welcomed by the bishops, parish priests and faithful. For this retreat, we have two teams of preachers for Kerala, one for Tamil Nadu, one for Andhra Pradesh and another team for the Hindi speaking area. In addition to Popular Missions and as a follow-up for this, the Vincentian priests organize other forms of preaching such as Bible conventions, residential retreats etc. We have 51 prayer and retreat centers*, including the well-known Potta-Divine Retreat Center. We are expanding such programs to foreign countries also, including some African countries. […]
says that the Vincentian Congregation has two Bishops (both of them retired), 535 priests, 1 brother, and over 400 minor and major seminarians.
As per http://vincentiancongregation.org/home/inner/62, the Vincentian Generalate is at Edappally, Kochi, Kerala and three Provinces/Provincial Houses: Marymatha at Angamaly, St. Joseph at Kottayam (both in Kerala state) and St. Thomas headquartered in Najafgarh, Delhi.
*The names and locations of the 51 retreat centres may be accessed at http://vincentiancongregation.org/home/inner/55.
35 of them are in India, and the remaining in Germany, Kenya, Uganda (3 each), Australia, USA (2 each), and Austria, Canada and U.K. (1 each).
the Vincentian Congregation neither affirms nor denies that the spirituality of its ministry is charismatic. But it is very charismatic indeed in every single aspect of its programmes. However, the Vincentians are not under the official umbrella of the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS) or of the National Service Team (NST) of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) in India.
Is the Vincentian preaching ministry Charismatic? The answer to this question is both affirmative and negative. Like all renewal movements in the Church, the Vincentian Preaching ministry is also charismatic. “Send forth your spirit… and the face of the earth shall be renewed” (Ps.104:30) is the prayer of the Psalmist. It is the Spirit of God that inspired St. Vincent to start the Vincentian Renewal Movement in Paris. The saint emphasizes the role of Vincentian Renewal Movement seeks to be filled and led by the Holy Spirit, as explained earlier. However, the Vincentian Preaching ministry is not charismatic in the sense that it is not part of the Charismatic Movement which was started in the United States and later took on an official outfit in India under the direction of the National Service Team in the year 1977. Potta-Divine retreat Movements flourished with the blessings and encouragement of the bishops under the direction of the authorities of the Vincentian Congregation, independently of the National Service Team. Though this preaching ministry has been highly enriched in its methodology by the Charismatic Movement, it has remained radically Vincentian in nature and structure. Spiritual renewal of the faithful, in the framework of Sacramental spirituality, will continue to be our mission in the future.
The brief honeymoon of the Vincentian Congregation and the NST will be dealt with in a separate report.
The Divine Retreat Centre at Muringoor is the largest of the Vincentian retreat centres. http://www.drcm.org/retreat/retreat-information claims that it is “the largest Catholic retreat centre in the world. Retreats in English and other Indian languages such as Hindi, Konkani, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu are held every week of the year“.
The Director of the English language section is Dr. Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC. He has not been transferred away from DRC for over almost 25 years which is since when he took charge.
Lesser mortals are transferred, but not the senior priests who control and run DRC.
**The existing eight critiques on the Divine Retreat Centre at our web site are:
DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-01 –
ENNEAGRAM NEW AGE PRACTITIONER MINISTERS
DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-02
MAUREEN SWEENEY-HOLY LOVE MINISTRIES PROMOTED
DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-03
– FALSE MYSTIC VASSULA RYDEN INVITED
DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-04
– USE OF THE HINDU BINDI OR TILAK MARK ON FOREHEAD
DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-05
– HINDU YOGA PROMOTED
DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-05-B – REBUTTAL OF FR AUGUSTINE VALLOORAN ON YOGA
DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-07 – “CRUSADERS OF JESUS WITH MARY” MINISTRY PROMOTED
DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-08 –
CONDEMNATION OF DRINKING ALCOHOL AND SMOKING
This file will serve as an Introduction to each individual file in the series on the Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor SCANDALS AND COURT CASES.