Cover image: Bishop Gallela Prasad during a dedication Mass at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Seneca, Kansas, in 2013.
When the news of Bishop Gellela Prasad of Kadapa's kidnap (on 25 April 2016) came in, Dr James Kottoor, Editor-in-Chief was the first person in India to condemn the kidnap which was masterminded by three of his own parish priests, led by Father (?) Raja Reddy from Jammalamadugu, located in the diocese of Cuddapah. Raja Reddy besides being a Parish Priest used to run “My Daddy Home” which houses an international school and college and had presented an expensive Innova car on the prelate’s birthday. Indian Currents reported that it was a case of Caste war with the three priests hailing from a high caste and the Bishop from low caste! What a classic proof of casteism being practised by the Indian Church Hierarchy, a fact it cannot own up in courts of law. Dr Kottoor knocked on the doors of Catholic Bishops Conference of India and also wrote to individual Bishops / Archbishops. But not one Bishop/ Archbishop publicly condemned the heinous act, except Fr John Bosco.
Then Mr Ravi Mesa, B.Tech ( Mechanical Engineer ) & Lecturer in Polytechnic College, President, Dalit Christian Forum, Door No. 26/1/510, Society Colony, Jammalamadugu Post – 516 434, Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh wrote to Church Citizens' Voice on the reported secret married life and embezzlement of funds by Bishop Gallela Prasad. He furnished court documents and even newspaper clippings. Dr Kottoor responded to his request by publishing the matter in Church Citizens' Voice. Again he wrote to most Bishops and Archbishops but they all maintained pin-drop silence.
Now we hear that Pope Francis has accepted Bishop Gallela's resignation. This means the alarm bell raised and charges brought forth by Ravi Mesa and his associate Prasad Sambatur are true (Please read excerpts from Ravi Mesa's letter to Cardinal Oswald Gracias given below).
Against this backdrop, we have another faux pas by Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. In a statement he reportedly said, “We thank Bishop Prasad Gallela for his dedicated services to the Church in Cuddapah and the Church in India, and we entrust him to the intercession of Our Lady, Queen of Apostles.”
Thank Bishop Prasad for what? Making merry at the expense of the Laity and looting the Church? No wonder the Indian Church Hierarchy is being infested with priests and bishops who are no less dangerous than mafias. The photo caption says it all. Isaac Gomes, Asso. Editor, Church Citizens' Voice.
CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY
10 December 2018
.- Pope Francis accepted Monday the resignation of Bishop Prasad Gallela from the pastoral government of the Diocese of Cuddapah, in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Gallala was in August the object of a criminal complaint for allegedly using diocesan funds to maintain an alleged “wife” and adult son.
Bishop emeritus of Guntur, Bali Gali, was named temporary apostolic administrator sede vacante of the diocese.
In a statement Dec. 10, Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, Auxiliary Bishop of Ranchi and secretary general of the Indian bishops’ conference, said, “We thank Bishop Prasad Gallela for his dedicated services to the Church in Cuddapah and the Church in India, and we entrust him to the intercession of Our Lady, Queen of Apostles.”
Gallela, 56, has consistently denied the charges of embezzlement or that he has a concubine or child. According to UCA News, Gallela maintains that the woman and 18-year-old man identified by the petitioners are the wife and son of his deceased brother, for whom his family cares.
The bishop had been summoned to appear before Lok Adalat, a government-approved forum for settling pending court cases, Aug. 18. The outcome of the court case is unclear.
A Dec. 10 announcement from the Vatican provided no explanation for the bishop’s resignation, stating only that “the Holy Father Francis accepted the resignation from the pastoral government of the Diocese of Cuddapah (India), presented by Msgr. Prasad Gallela.”
Two lay members of Gallela’s diocese brought charges against him in June, including accusations of money laundering, misappropriation of diocesan funds, corruption, and cheating civil and religious authorities, according to UCA News.
They also claim to have documents proving his attempted marriage to a woman, and that he bought properties for her and their son using millions of Indian rupees (tens of thousands of US dollars) from donations and other public funds.
UCA News reported in August that Fr. A.X.J. Bosco, who works for the rights of low-caste Indians, claimed the allegations were several years old and connected with an ongoing caste fight within the Church in India. He also drew a connection with the allegations and the April 2016 kidnapping and assault of Gallela.
About the documents supporting the allegations, Bosco said they needed to be verified by competent authorities.
Gallela said the allegations were false and told UCA News he thinks those accusing him are the same people who kidnapped him. “They are high-caste people and have the power, means and money. Everybody is afraid to talk against them,” he said.
Gallela was ordained a priest in 1989. He has been the bishop of the Diocese of Cuddapah since March 1, 2008. Cuddapah, a suffragan diocese of Hyderabad, has around 134,000 Catholics.
THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS
11 December 2018
Indian bishop accused of misusing funds for family resigns
VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of an Indian bishop who, according to news reports, was accused of misappropriating church funds to support a secret family.
Bishop Prasad Gallela of Cuddapah in southern India denied the accusations.
On Monday, the Vatican said Gallela had offered to resign and Francis accepted.
At 56, Gallela is well below the normal retirement age of 75 for bishops.
The Ucanews news agency, which covers the Catholic Church closely in Asia, said two lay Catholics had filed a criminal complaint against Gallela accusing him of misappropriating diocesan social welfare funds to support a wife and teenage son.
Ucanews quoted Gallela as saying the accusations were false and that the woman identified as his wife on land deeds is actually the wife of his dead brother.
22 August 2018
His Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias
The Council Member of Pope Francis and the President of CBCI, India
Your Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias,
I humbly bring to the kind attention of your good selves through my 5th email your Eminence about the miserable situation of the diocese of Cuddapah (Kadapa) by continuous scandals of secretly married Catholic bishop Gallela Prasad of Kadapa diocese and his abuse of power and misuse of funds through his money power and muscle power is beyond anyone's imagination. He has employed the most expensive lawyers for both of them together ( wife and husband ) to get relief from the honourable court. ………
I am sure that your Eminence must have received an email from another simple Dalit Lay person by name Mr. Prasad Sambatur who was maximum pressurized and threatened by Gallela Prasad and his gang of priests and street-fighters to withdraw the criminal cases against them and come for compromise. All his foul- play methods were a failure.
It is just heart-breaking. Hope the Good Lord will rescue his people by bringing the culprit to the truth and justice.
Seeking for your blessings and timely intervention to protect your suffering children of God in the diocese of Kadapa, as justice delayed is justice denied.
Your Humble Christian
Ravi Mesa , B.Tech ( Mechanical Engineer ) & Lecturer in Polytechnic College
President, Dalit Christian Forum
Door No. 26/1/510, Society Colony, Jammalamadugu Post – 516 434,
Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh State, India
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org