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Rector Thomas murder case cracked, police arrest three priests

Nearly a year after the murder of Fr Thomas, the 65-year-old rector of
St Peter's Pontifical Seminary in Malleswaram, the Bangalore police
have cracked the case with the arrest of three priests, who allegedly
bludgeoned him to death after he caught them red-handed while stealing
documents from Seminary.

On April 1, Fr Thomas was found dead with multiple head injuries in
the seminary. The breakthrough in the investigations came after the
police subjected a few suspects including the three priests, who were
seminary on the fateful night of March 31, to narco analysis.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Pronab Mohanty, who headed
the investigation, told reporters that the police had arrested William
Patrick, the priest of the Seminary, who was sleeping in the adjacent
room when the ghastly murder took place, besides Ilyas and Peter, both
priests in the same Seminary.

Mr Mohanty said the accused, who were unhappy with Fr Thomas for being
sidelined, had hatched a conspiracy to defame him for which they
required certain documents pertaining to the seminary. As per the
plan, they tried to steal the documents when Fr Thomas caught them
red-handed. Fearing their plans will be revealed, they attacked him
with blunt weapons, killing him on the spot and escaped, police said.

Archbishop's House, P.B. No. 2, 75, Miller's Road,
Benson Town, Bengaluru 560 045


APRIL 2014

Dear Rev. Fathers/ Brothers/ Sisters/ Lay Faithful,

Sub: Development regarding the murder of Fr. K.J. Thomas, the former
Rector of St. Peter's Pontifical Seminary.

At the College of Consulters Meeting held on 5th April 2014 at 4.00
p.m., it was decided that I send the following information and
clarification regarding the recent developments after the brutal
murder of Fr. K.J. Thomas, the former Rector of St. Peter's Pontifical
Seminary, Bangalore.

A year has passed by after the murder of Fr. K.J. Thomas on 1st of
April 2013. All of us have been praying, not only for the repose of
the soul Fr. K.J. Thomas, but also that the perpetrators of the murder
of Fr. K. J. Thomas may be nabbed and truth may come to light.

On the day of the murder, the then Police Commissioner had announced
of setting up a few police teams for the investigations. From then on,
they have been intensely doing their job to find out the various
reasons and causes for the murder.

Besides the Board of Bishops of St. Peter's Pontifical Seminary, there
have been demands from the family of Fr. K.J. Thomas and the public to
the Chief Minister, Home Minister and to the Police Department, to
speed up the investigation and to nab the culprits, as the murder of
Fr. K.J. Thomas has wide implications, not only on the local church,
but also on the universal Church and the community at large.

The investigation team called back Fr. William Patrick, who was on
pilgrimage, for investigation. The investigation team held a Press
Conference on 21.03.2014 and announced the action it has taken by
arresting the two priests and a lay man to conduct further

As announced earlier in my circular, I was away in Rome from March
23rd onwards and returned to Bangalore only on 4th April morning.
Today 5th April, along with Fr. Archibald Gonsalves, Provincial
Superior of the Carmelites and three of his priests, I visited the
central jail and met Fr. William Patrick and Fr. Elias. We were as
much sad and pained as they were. It is really unfortunate that they
are there.

I am accused by a section of priests and the faithful that the
Archbishop used his influence to arrest these priests, and that he is
trying to take revenge on those who are fighting for the Kannada
cause. It is totally false and baseless.

Here, I would like to make it clear to all concerned, specially
priests, religious and lay faithful, that, as Chairman of the Board of
Bishops, I have been demanding a speedy investigation of the murder of
Fr. K.J. Thomas. In no way I am involved directly or indirectly in the
arrest of any one, much less the priests. I will never want, at any
time, that any innocent person to be punished. I am prepared to suffer
rather than take revenge. May the Lord judge those who accuse me
falsely and baselessly, and mislead the innocent faithful and the
general public.

My going to Rome for the Pastoral Health Care Meeting was decided in
November 2013, when the meeting was fixed. My ticket was booked months
ago. It was wrong to connect my recent going to Rome and the events
that took place subsequently.

Similarly, the announcement of the new Bishop of Shimoga on 19th March
is a coincidence. The date for such announcement is fixed by Rome and
not by anyone else.

There was also an accusation against me that I have sent a large
section of priests on a pilgrimage by spending lakhs of rupees to win
them over on my side. The request came from the priests themselves to
give them a Diamond Jubilee gift by organizing a Pilgrimage to the
places of St. Paul's missionary journey. This proposal was discussed
and approved at the College of Consultors' Meeting held on 18th
November 2013, and a team comprising of Msgr. C. Francis, Very Rev.
Fr. A.S. Anthony Swamy and Very Rev. Fr. Edward David was constituted
to arrange this pilgrimage for the Archdiocesan priests in two

I am also accused, at times, by some sections of people (priests and
faithful) that I have handed over to the police investigation team the
letters written to St. Peter's Pontifical Seminary or to me. When the
investigation team asks for such letters and correspondence, I don't
think any one has any choice except to provide them with all
information and correspondence to facilitate the investigation.

The main purpose of writing this letter is to appeal to all concerned
priests, religious and lay faithful to keep calm and to pray earnestly
that all involved in the murder of Fr. K.J. Thomas are nabbed and
punished. No innocent persons in any way are to be harmed or to be
punished. I want the truth to come out in the interest of the Church,
the Seminary and the Archdiocese. Let the truth prevail and set us

In this Year of Reconciliation, as we come closer to the Holy Week may
the Passion and Death of our Lord strengthen all of us, and may the
Peace of Christ reign in the hearts of all and in the Archdiocese of

At today's meeting of the College of Consultors, the members also felt
that, as the present atmosphere is not conducive to hold the Pastoral
Consultation, it could be cancelled. Hence, the scheduled Pastoral
Consultation to be held on 10th April is hereby cancelled. However,
the Chrism Mass will be celebrated at St. Francis Xavier's Cathedral
at 5.00 p.m.

May I appeal all the parish priests, heads of religious communities
and institutions, and the faithful to hold special prayers,
Eucharistic adoration, Rosary recitation and do acts of charity that
the Good Lord may help the truth to come to light at the earliest, and
also help us experience peace and harmony in the Archdiocese. Let the
truth triumph.

With every good wish and God's blessings,

Yours sincerely,

+Bernard Moras
Archbishop of Bangalore
Wow. They tried to kill St. Benedict, too, and St. Charles Borromeo. Here you see how all that goes down. Unbelievable, but an old story.