On Saturday, January 7, Mysore Bishop Kannikadass William was asked to go on leave and in his place Archbishop Emeritus of Bangalore, Bernard Moras was appointed as the apostolic administrator for the diocese of Mysore. This comes after allegations ofcorruption, sexual assault, and kidnapping were raised against Bishop Kannikadass William back in 2019.
The letter from Archbishop Felix Machado, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), states: “In a communication received from the Apostolic Nunciature, I wish to inform that the Dicastery for Evangelization has appointed His Grace Most Rev Bernard Moras, Archbishop Emeritus of Bangalore, Apostolic Administrator sede plena et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of the Diocese of Mysore for the ordinary administration and pastoral care of that local Church. The Dicastery for Evangelization has decided to remove the Diocesan Bishop, the Right Rev Kannikadass A William, from the ministry. The appointment will take effect on January 7, 2023, from 6 p.m. onwards.”
Raphael, Secretary of the Kannada Christara Sangha (KCS), said that “It is unfortunate that the glory, name, fame, and spirituality of Mysore Diocese has been tarnished by the last two Bishops in the last few years.”
Raphael added that Kannikadass William has after his appointment as the Bishop in 2017, “spent public money on luxuries as well as to cover up illegal activities.”
The KCS Secretary also alleged that diocese funds were mismanaged and misused by a few groups of priests.
It is notable that on November 5, 2019, a complaint was filed against Bishop Kannikadass by Robert Rosario representing a citizen’s group called the Association of Concerned Catholics (AOCC). The complaint was filed after a video of a woman who worked at the diocese surfaced wherein she alleged that she was harassed by a priest Leslie Moras, and when she tried to complain about the incident, Bishop Kannikadass William Antony threatened her over a call in July 2018.
As the victim back then did not file a complaint against Bishop Kannikadass William, the AOCC group lodged a complaint. The complaint came after 37 priests from different parishes in the Mysore diocese wrote to the Vatican seeking his removal.
Bishop Kannikadass William was accused of fathering a child and corruption. The 37 priests alleged that the Bishop has strong connections with corrupt police officials and bureaucrats as well as politicians who have criminal records. They had also claimed that the Bishop has connections with the ‘underworld’ as well.
“The dark age of our diocese began when the current bishop (Kannikadass A William) was brought in,” the priests told Francis. “We regret and feel sorry to say that we have got a person who is immoral, corrupt, unspiritual, materialist, worldly, ill-reputed, disrespected and a dictator as bishop of Mysuru,” the priests wrote in their letter to the Vatican.