Bishop in Medak suspended

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The Bishop in Medak of the Church of South India has been suspended by the church’s moderator after allegations of financial misconduct were made. The Moderator, the Most Rev. A. Dharmaraj Rasalam, who himself is facing criminal charges of money laundering, suspended the Rt. Rev. A. C. Solomon Raj pending a trial before a church court on charges of financial and managerial misconduct.

The statement from the Bishop Rasalam said the Rt. Rev. Padma Rao, Bishop in Dornakal, would assume the responsibilities as the moderator’s commissary in Medak with immediate effect. However, on 29 November 2022 when Bishop Rao arrived at the Medak diocesan offices, Bishop Raj and his staff refused to admit him saying they had not been given orders to allow him to take charge.

A standoff ensued that was only resolved when the police arrived and restored order.

Bishop Raj told local reporters the dispute was political. He said he had opposed the recent move by the CSI Synod to raise the retirement age of bishops from 65 to 70, and that he had also opposed leasing church lands in Medak to property developers. Some senior members of the clergy had been given commissions by the developers to encourage the land leases and had been angered by the bishop’s refusal to go along.