ASIA/INDIA - Bishop kidnapped: three priests arrested

Friday, 6 May 2016 bishops   kidnapping   violence   local churches  

Cuddapah diocese

New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) - The Indian police arrested 14 people, accusing them of having organized and participated in the kidnapping of Mgr. Prasad Gallela, Bishop of the diocese of Cuddapah, in Andhra Pradesh, kidnapped and released after one night on 25 April ( see Fides 30/04/2016). Among the 14, announced the Police Superintendent, there are three priests of the diocese of Cuddapah. The charges are kidnapping for extortion and attempted murder of the Bishop.
"Mgr. Gallela Prasad was abducted in Chillikanuma by a group of people who beat and tied him up, demanding a ransom and threatened to kill him", said the police superintendent. The main defendant is the priest, Fr. Nalladimmu Raja Reddy, 48, parish priest in Palur, in the diocese of Kadapa, who manages several prestigious Catholic institutions and foundations.
The second priest arrested is Fr. Lingala Vijaya Mohan Reddy, 45, pastor in Vallur, who seems to be one of the accomplices. The third priest arrested, Fr. Sanivarapu Marreddy, 39, parish priest in Renigunta. The three did not appreciate the work of the Bishop in certain appointments and transfers of the local clergy and wanted to put pressure on him, hiring men to organize the kidnapping. "The main reason behind the kidnapping is the resentment that the priests had towards the Bishop for his lack of support in using the funds of the Church", said the police, who also recovered some of the stolen goods.
Fr. Sudhakar, a priest of the diocese, said: "It is a very sad event. Let us pray for our Church. These priests have been misled by power and money and have caused great harm to the Church". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 06/05/2016)