MYSURU, India (ChurchMilitant.com) - An Indian bishop facing a Vatican investigation has gifted his fifth mistress with a Maruti Suzuki Celerio — the most expensive hatchback in its class.
Vehicle registration documents obtained by Church Militant show that the bishop of Mysore, Kannikadass William Antony — transferred the car, valued between 582,000 and 781,000 rupees, to a divorcée named Mrs. Sunita H.
The document issued by the Karnataka state government's transport department confirms the July 27 letter written by prominent Indian lay leader Allan de Noronha (aka Chhotebhai) to India's apostolic nuncio, Abp. Leopoldo Girelli, accusing Bp. William of gifting his "brand new Celerio car bearing registration no. KA 55 M 8443 to Sunita."
"Why this generosity? What was the quid pro quo?" asks Noronha, convenor of the Indian Catholic Forum, noting that the bishop's mistress was earlier married to a "daily wager" (elsewhere identified as Anthony Raj). "Her fortunes improved dramatically" after "coming into contact with William," he adds.
Noronha's letter gives Sunita's address as "33 MUDA Employee Layout, Dattagalli 3rd Stage, K Block, Mysore" — the same address on the vehicle transfer document. The lay leader notes that the bishop's mistress, who formerly lived in a "hutment," now lives in the "posh double-story corner-plot house" even though "she reportedly has no means of income."
William's illegitimate son was born after Anthony Raj and Sunita submitted a divorce petition admitting that there was no "biological relationship" between them for the previous two and a half years, Noronha explains.
"The needle of suspicion, therefore, points to William, whom the husband had then blamed for destroying his marriage," the lay leader stresses, pleading for a DNA paternity test to be conducted.
Church Militant earlier published the recording of a leaked phone call between Bombay's cardinal-archbishop, Oswald Gracias, and Bp. William, in which the cardinal urges the Mysore bishop to take a DNA paternity test while assuring him of complete control over the results.
William has also been accused of murdering four priests who opposed him — and of rape, sodomy, kidnapping and embezzlement.
The bishop was known to have had five mistresses over the years, some even before he was elevated to this episcopate. William had also fathered four children from his lovers, according to a confidential letter to Pope Francis signed by 37 diocesan priests.
Church Militant obtained a copy of the letter and can reveal the names of the other four women: Ratnamma from Sathagalli, Mysore; Savariammal from Jageri, Kollegal; an unnamed Anglo-Indian lady from Hinkal, Mysore; and Lilly Mary.
William's Anglo-Indian paramour was moved overseas after conceiving his child. It is not known if the child was carried to full term.
The names of three children have also been obtained but are not being released because of their status as minors. The face of William's son with Sunita H. in the featured picture above has been pixelated to protect the boy's identity.
The bishop committed adultery with Sunita while she was working as a staff member for the Organization for the Development of People in Mysore. Ratnamma is a "servant woman" from a Hindu background who was baptized by the bishop. William also fathered a son through her, the letter reveals.
The letter to Pope Francis also contains 18 annexures with pictures of the mistresses and children, as well as photographs of properties built with money taken illegally from diocesan funds.
Priests and laymen in the Mysore diocese are demanding DNA tests to be carried out on all the illegitimate children allegedly sired by the bishop.
Church Militant also obtained evidence that demonstrates that William transferred money to Lilly Mary, who has been named as another one of the bishop's paramours. The prelate transferred three sums by check to Ms. Mary from 2016 to 2021, totaling 150,000 rupees.
A second letter from veteran high court judge Michael F. Saldanha to apostolic nuncio Girelli, dated July 8, elaborates on the relationship between the bishop and his lover.
"I have met and spoken to the person who openly proclaims to be William's mistress and the mother of his son," Justice Saldanha writes. "The lady concerned disputes nothing and proudly proclaims that William is her 'yajamanaru' or 'husband.'"
"I have met the boy [William's illegitimate son] concerned, as also her husband, who left the matrimonial home after William started frequenting the place," Saldanha writes, noting that the bishop is having his son educated "in one of the most expensive public schools."
The retired judge of the Bombay and Karnataka high courts, a practicing Catholic, says he "personally visited Mysuru on 19 occasions" to conduct an "on-the-spot verification of the evidence."
"Every iota of the material was not only examined but dissected by me, verified and reverified, and the findings were communicated in writing not only to William but to all the other Church authorities who were involved," Saldanha emphasizes.
Meanwhile, Justice Saldanha sent a "formal legal notice" to the apostolic nuncio on Thursday, asking him to direct Cdl. Gracias and Bp. William to "step down and vacate office immediately before the Catholic Church in India is completely destroyed."
"The percentage of practicing Catholics has fallen by 72% in the Mysore diocese and by 49% in the Bombay archdiocese," Saldanha wrote. "These are serious figures because the sole reason for this happening is because of the total lack of faith in the hierarchy."
The judge points to a "clear reference" in the leaked phone recording published by Church Militant where the cardinal assures William that "the media will be taken care of."
"This is an open secret because not only is the media influenced heavily because of the immense money power of the Church, but there is very strong adverse publicity being fed to the media by these very persons," Saldanha remarks.
"It is an open secret that taking care of the press or media is one of the well-known tools used by the Church very successfully, and this extends also to other areas where immunity is purchased from the police, the tax authorities and above all the Enforcement Directorate," he adds.
Church Militant contacted Bp. William and asked if diocesan or charity funds were used to purchase the car and why a special favor was granted to Sunita H. There was no response as of press time.