Priest arrested for alleged child abuse

Accused priest

KOLKATA, (C.M. Paul) — A priest of the diocese of Krishnagar in Murshidabad district was arrested Monday 16th July for sexually assaulting a student in the eastern state of West Bengal.

The warden of the diocesan run Don Bosco School Monigram at Sagardighi in West Bengal, about 240 kilometres from state capital Kolkata, has been arrested for allegedly molesting a 10-year-old student.

The accused, Fr James Soren had been missing since Thursday (12 July) when the Class V student complained to his parents.

Don Bosco Diocesan school

The incident happened on Wednesday night (11 July) when Soren called the child and allegedly molested him. The child later told his father about the incident – a resident of Raghunathganj, some 275 kilometres from Kolkata – following which a police complaint was lodged.

“Father James Soren was arrested for sexual assault and charged under section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which deals with molestation and carries a maximum punishment of life imprisonment,” said Additional Superintendent of Police Mrinal Majumdar.

The school though named Don Bosco, is not managed by the Don Bosco Fathers and Brothers who run three Don Bosco Schools in the district namely at Azimganj, Polsondamore and Berhampore.

Since last 12 years, Don Bosco Monigram school is under the management of the diocesan priests of Krishnagar diocese.

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19 Comments

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19 responses to “Priest arrested for alleged child abuse

  1. Sr. Joe Martin Nalubega

    Jesus Master have mercy on him. Jesus Master have mercy on us all.

  2. Roy Chowdhury

    Current issue of “Outlook” magazine carries stories on the sexual scandals in the Church in Kerala. They are sad, but not surprising. I believe that they’re just the tip of the iceberg, for the sexual abuse of women and of all ages and children is pandemic in this country — no matter to what religion or community the perpetrators belong. Let us work together to flush out the filth, rather than hide it further!

  3. The Salesians of Don Bosco has a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY toward offenders of child sexual abuse. This policy was drawn up some six years ago and Don Bosco fathers and brothers are committed to its strict implementation in all their schools, technical institutions and youth centres. If any case is reported, there are provincial level commissions and procedures in place to pursue the case quickly and ensure the protection of the victim and prevention of further abuse on the part of the offender or predator.

    • matthew

      why are you safe guarding your priest and not other priest? intorspect yourself?

    • matthew

      open to the reality dear father Paul. do not take the safer side?

      • I know the reality is in deed pathetic. Hence, we need to take preventive measures to protect people under our care and ourselves. The authorities both in the local institution and at the diocesan / province level need to introspect and take necessary action to prevent such things happening. Just ignoring the malaise and not heeding to the warnings is utter foolhardiness.

  4. Amit Das

    This case could also be a case of trumped up charges or a vicious charge against the educational institution to malign the good work of warden Fr James Soren. The “wealthy farmer” angle smacks of possible Hindu right wing activist’s sinister plan…

  5. Rohit Adhikary

    There was also an earlier alleged child abuse accusation against Fr James Soren, February last… In that case the parents had withdrawn their ward from the hostel. It is further reported that NO enquiry was made, nor any action was taken, either by the Bishop of the diocese nor the school administration to quarantine the predator and prevent other children fall prey or victim.

  6. Story is told of a father who told his grown up son to climb a high wall.The son obeyed. “Now what?” he asked. The father told him” Jump down!”. It was indeed a high wall. The frightned son asked ” But father how can I? I will break my leg or hand if I jump”. The father said sternly ” Jump boy..it is your father down here”. The boy closed his eyes and jumped the father did not hold him and the son..broke a leg. As he lay writhing in pain the father approached him and said in a loud voice ” My boy this is to teach you that IN MATTERS OF MONEY AND SEX DO NOT TRUST EVEN YOUR FATHER”,
    ” Let him who is not without sin be the first to throw stones at this….(unfortunate man) -the quote goes for all the self justified whatever position they be in ,in society.

  7. Hrangthan Chhungi

    when i see this mail am once again pained with the amount of atrocities meted out to the vulnerable children and women in our today’s daily iife. Church the place for refuge for the vulnerable ones is in no way safer than any other place. I am hurt, emotionally hurt. As human being, created in the iimage of God with the gift of human sexuality, why… why should we turn this gift as a mis-gift that turns human beings a beast. To me whoever and whatever position a person is, if commited this kind of crime….let God takes care of the situation…and whatever the law of the land …let it be done…surely as children of God we need to be sensitive and intercede for each other and for the vulnerable ones in our society…

  8. Fr.Tomy Kuruvilla

    A sorry state indeed! “The fence has started eating the crop”.It has been there for a very long long time.Finally the Church has mustered enough courage ,to do the needful, instead of protecting the culprits.Congratulations! Fr.paul for bringing it out in the open. Hope you will follow it up.

  9. anob

    well said. may god forgive everyone and bring peace to situation.

  10. Roy Chowdhury

    How’s that I do not see any statement regarding the alleged child abuse case and arrest of the accused priest on your blog?
    Did not the diocese of Krishnagar put out a statement to the media?
    What about the Don Bosco group whose name was implicated in the media reports of the alleged child abuse case? Have they not put out a statement to the media, to clear their name?

  11. Rajesh Tudu

    The e-version of The Herald dated July 20, 2012 was dispatched on Tuesday, 17 Jul 2012. How come not even the only Catholic paper in this part of the country came to the defense of the accused and arrested priest in the alleged child molestation case at Don Bosco Monigram hostel… It was in both English and vernacular papers as well as on CNN-IBN and NDTV… also on Bengali TV channels.

  12. In a time of crisis like this, one is appalled by the callousness –indifference to the suffering of another- shown by one and sundry. The whole focus seems to be a). to protect the Church edifice by abandoning Fr James to his fate b).for the Religious Group- here the Salesians defending themselves against the Diocese and c). the Diocese of Krishnagar sitting mum d). the general public acting the police to “flush out such predators”.

    Everyone seems to have abandoned the unfortunate priest to his fate!

    It is time ALL gathered in support of this human being –to HELP him NOT PUNISH. Is he still languishing in jail? What has the Church done to stand by their man.? To extend to him full hearted legal help, to bring him out, to counsel him ,to reinstate him or guide him to another mode of life where he will be happy as a human being even as a married person .?

    Instead what one sees is a holier than thou attitude as if they are the judges . Establishments are busy defending themselves, to publicize the incident, to catch other predators. Such attitude is NOT Christ like or even Church like. How heartening it is to know that Church and Congregation has reinstated in ministry priest(s) who have even had child(ren) out of wedlock! That is truly the gospel spirit in action.
    Christ has very strong words for those who sit in judgment “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you “Mt 21:32.
    Come on Church. Stand by your man! That is being a MAN- not cowards.Who knows you may be the next !

  13. max

    There is a huge cheating happening by priests in Krishangar, we are ashamed by the current priests in krishnanagar church. They are doing all kinds of things to bring shame on church. who can help.

  14. Pr

    Priests have sent out God and Jesus from Krishnanagar Church and they are having gallor time. God will not leave them, even no one from the church take step against these horrible priests.

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