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Catholic priest’s love affair lands him in mental asylum

Kochi, July 25 (): A Catholic priest, who fell in love with a Muslim woman, was put in a mental hospital for moving away from faith and showing odd behaviour.

The girl Surumi had converted to Christianity about two years ago and fell in love with the Catholic priest Jain Varghese six months back. She met him during a prayer session. As the Catholic priest decided to marry his lady-love, his family termed it as a fit case to be admitted to a mental hospital run by Catholic nuns. Jain Varghese, a member of Rogationists of the Heart of Jesus, was released after his girlfriend, Surumi, reached the hospital and created a storm.

Trouble began for the Catholic priest and Surumi when they went to the registrar office in Kochi with plans to marry. When the priest returned to the office after one month, he was told that his family staying in Vaikkom (Kottayam) had objected saying he was not mentally stable. The Catholic priest went to his house and asked for an explanation. They told him that they did not want him to get married as he would have to shed his priestly robes.

As the news reached the Catholic church, they suspended the priest and his family members armed with a letter from the local church priest which termed him as a person who has strayed from faith and took him to a hospital. This hospital is run by Catholic nuns and anyone who strays from faith is dubbed as a mental patient.

Surumi who could not contact her lover boy went to the cops. The cops told her that her lover had flipped the lid and was in a mental hospital in Thodupuzha. The hospital says that the Catholic priest’s family admitted him for a psychiatric evaluation as he had strayed away from faith and no one told them about his love affair. The priest claims that he was always under sedation and the hospital says it was only to calm him down. The registrar asked the family members of the suspended priest to explain their objections but no one came.

Catholics in Kerala constitute 19% of the Christian population and are the wealthiest community. With many of the members having settled abroad and women getting educated and being employed, the family planning came into vogue. The Church now finds that the number of faithfuls is decreasing and incentives are offered to make women give birth to more than three children.