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Indian bishop accused of stealing £335,000: The Church of England Newspaper, March 19, 2010 p 7. March 31, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of South India, Corruption.

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

A diocesan official has been arrested and a bishop is under investigation by police in India in for allegedly embezzling £335,000 from the coffers of the Diocese of Coimbatore.

On March 8 detectives arrested the former secretary of the Diocese of Coimbatore, D.S. Amirtham, charging him with diverting pensions funds. While serving as director of five diocesan schools, Amirthan is alleged to have siphoned off five per cent of the funds contributed by teachers and the schools into their retirement funds between 2000 and 2008.

In January Amirtham came under police scrutiny after an altercation with the former Moderator of the Church of South India and retired Bishop of Coimbatore, the Rt. Rev. William Moses. Amirtham is alleged to have threatened to kill the retired bishop.

The altercation came after Bishop Moses supported a complaint lodged by members of the diocese with the police against Bishop Manickam Dorai of Coimbatore (pictured) and the bishop’s brother, charging the bishop with colluding in the looting the diocese of 30 million rupees.

Last year charges accusing the bishop’s brother of embezzling funds from a diocesan school were brought to Bishop Dorai by the diocesan Christian Welfare Association. The bishop did not act on the complaints, and told a local newspaper the charges were false and that “there is no truth in it.”

Those complaining of theft wanted “to tarnish the image of the diocese and defame the spiritual head of over 4 lakh (400,000) Christians spread” across the Tamil Nadu state, Bishop Dorai told The Express in an interview published on June 17, 2009.

On Jan 12 police questioned the Moderator of the Church of South India (CSI), Bishop William Gladstone and the church’s treasurer in connection with the allegations. Bishop Gladstone said the CSI synod’s executive committee would await the results of the investigation before it took action.

The Coimbatore affair is the second high profile fraud cause in the last year for the CSI. On Oct 13, 2009, Detectives from the Central Crime Branch of the Madras police arrested the former General Secretary of the CSI along with three members of her family. Dr. Pauline Sathiamurthy was accused of stealing almost £1 million of the tsunami relief funds donated to the CSI by the Episcopal Church.


1. Janice B Scott - April 1, 2010

I’m not sure which is the saddest aspect of all this – bishops allegedly stealing from the poor or the in-fighting which is apparently going on. If these stories are true, it would certainly seem that power corrupts – but so overtly? Have they no integrity, no shame?

2. Valentine Davidar - April 5, 2010

All of us need to repent and seek God’s forgiveness. We have sinned against God. Be it the Bishops or anyone else. We are all collectively responsible before God. To us is shame of face!

3. Rev Chandra Mohan, Church of South India Hon Presbyter - April 13, 2010

Corruption in the Church that too at high places in Church of South India has drastically brought down the image of the Church of South India in India and in the world. People committed to the Mission of the Church and Solidarity with the Poor are needed to occupy the leadership positions in the Church. Power game has brought in several corruptive persons as leaders of the Church at all levels.

Rev Chandra Mohan, Hon Presbyter Church of South India

4. Rev. Jacob Belly, General Secretary, Presbyter Council for Church Reformation - April 16, 2010

we want to recollect the message Printed in the Church of South India news magazine, South India Churchman, September 1954. Seven years after the formation of CSI.

‘Not Boss: a bishop of the CSI has very little administrative authority….neither as bishop nor as president of the Diocesan Council has he any controlling authority over the finance of the Diocese’

The present situations of the Bishops in CSI is exactly different from the principle of the formation of CSI. Therefore time has come for a great change in CSI

Jeevan Gomez - November 11, 2010

I would think a time is come to repent and return to the Holy word of God and its principles, which at present suffers for accomodation. We need to have unctioned presbytery, who are Leaders and Visionaries, with a Burden for the Lord’s flock.

5. smiley - May 10, 2010

I agree with Rev. Jacob Belly. a great change should be implemented in CSI as soon as possible to stop all these.

6. Indian bishop accused of stealing £335,000 | தோமோவழி கிறிஸ்துவம் - June 21, 2010

[…] bishop accused of stealing £335,000 Posted on ஜூன் 21, 2010 by saintthomasfables The Church of England Newspaper, March 19, 2010 p 7. March 31, […]

7. Jeevan Gomez - November 11, 2010

Its time to pray for the Laity and consider their plight..the exploited and deprived lot, under such questionable leadership and tyranny within the Church.
How can such a Church be a Beacon to the Lost world??

Maranatha…come Lord Jesus in your power and Glory!

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