The Apostolic Catholic Church of India ordained Fr Anand Muttungal as a Bishop on January 3, 2021. Muttungal’s episcopal ordination was held at Greek Orthodox Church in Thiruvalla, Kerala, according to a press release from Bishop Babu George of the Apostolic Catholic Church in India. The new bishop will be in-charge of the Church’s mission dioceses in India, the press release says.
Bishop Muttungal will be based at Bhopal. Earlier he had served as the spokesperson of the Roman Catholic Church in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
Thomas Mar Osthathios, the Metropolitan of Kodungallur diocese presided over the ordination of Fr Muttungal. Others present were Bishop Sunny Abraham Panachamottil of the United Church of India and Bishop Babu George.
Bishop George welcomed the new prelate to the “Communion of Apostolic Catholic Church in India.”
Metropolitan Osthathios says the episcopal ordination is a call from God “to serve God and his people in the traditions and teachings of the Apostles strongly founded in the Holy Gospel.”
After his ordination Muttungal said that he has been working for the unity of Christians and interreligious harmony in India. “I will continue my mission,” he added.
He thanked God for his new mission that came to him “through the indirect work of Pope Francis and Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Roman Catholic Church of Bhopal.”
Archdiocesan PRO for 7 years
Muttungal had served as the Bhopal archdiocesan PRO for seven years under Jesuit Archbishop Pascal Topno and Archbishop Cornelio.
The 48-year-old activist priest had also been the spokesperson of the Catholic Church in Madhya Pradesh.
However in 2013, Muttungal had allegedly rebelled when he was removed from the post of public relation officer.
He filed a complaint that the prelate along with his vicar general Father VC Mathew and archdiocese spokesman Father PJ Johny had conspired to make him mentally unstable through slow poisoning.
On February 7, 2013, a magistrate ordered the registering of a case against the three accused.
Archbishop Cornelio dismissed the allegations as baseless and said he suspected behavioral problems in the priest.
The prelate also said that he had consulted psychiatrists about the matter and they advised medicines. However, the plan was abandoned later as the priest began behaving normal, he added.