East Mangarai priest Caught in Affair, Suspended by Bishop

In East Mangarai Regency, Indonesia, Father Agustinus Iwanti, a parish priest, has been suspended from his pastoral duties following allegations of an affair with a married woman. The incident came to light in April when Valentinus Abur, the woman’s husband, found Father Iwanti in a room with his wife. Abur attempted to attack the priest with a machete, but Father Iwanti managed to escape unharmed. Initially, Father Iwanti claimed that he had been invited for dinner by the woman and had stayed over without any inappropriate intentions. However, after being questioned by diocesan officials, he revised his account in light of his priestly status.


On June 6, Bishop Siprianus Hormat of Ruteng suspended Father Iwanti, citing the seriousness and provability of the charges against him. The diocese enforced a “sentence of suspension a divinis,” which, according to canon law, prohibits a cleric from performing any clerical duties or acts of the power of orders. Father Alfons Segar, the vicar general of Ruteng diocese, emphasized that the diocese adhered to strict canon law procedures.


Efforts by the diocese to reconcile the couple were unsuccessful due to the husband’s strong opposition. Despite attempts to placate him, Abur threatened to file a police complaint against the diocese if no action was taken against Father Iwanti. The long-term consequences for Father Iwanti remain uncertain.

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Content Credit/ Ajibola Emmanuel Adebayo

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