Minnesota — A Roman Catholic priest was in his native India in 2007 when he was charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl at his former post in Minnesota. Three years later, he is still serving as a priest in India with the blessing of his local bishop.
And the Rev. Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul has no intention of returning to the U.S. to answer the charges.
His bishop said Jeyapaul handles paperwork for schools in the diocese office and does not work with children.
The Vatican weighed in Monday, saying that officials there thought Jeyapaul should be removed from the priesthood and that they cooperated with efforts to extradite him to the U.S. — even providing authorities with his exact location in India.
But they said under church law, the decision of the priest’s punishment was up to the local bishop in India.