Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, PJ Kurien, today met Pope Francis at his inauguration in Rome. The Deputy Chairman was leading the Indian delegation to Rome which took part in the installation of Pope Francis as the 266th Pontiff of the Roman Catholic church.
The delegation also includes his wife Susan Kurien, and MPs Anto Antony (Congress) and Jose K Mani (Kerala Congress-M).
According to an NDTV report, the Suryanelli gangrape victim's mother reacted to the news of Kurien's visit to Rome and said, it is for "sinners like us to stay away and for puritans like him to meet the pope."
Kurien was named by the Suryanelli gangrape case victim, who is also Catholic. However he was cleared of all charges by the Supreme Court. The victim has been pressing that charges against him should be reopened and re-investigated.
Two Cardinals from Kerala, Mar George Alancherry of Syro Malabar Church and Mar Baselios Cleemis of Syro Malankara Church also attended the event in Rome, and they voted in the conclave for election of the new Pope, following the resignation of his predecessor Benedict XVI.
Apart from members of the official delegation, a large number of bishops from Kerala also left for Rome to attend the installation of Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina as the 266th pontiff of the Catholic church as Pope Francis.
With inputs from PTI