Priest jose Palimattom from Kerala with his mother
Priest jose Palimattom from Kerala, India, with his motherFacebook/ Jose Palimattom

An Indian-origin catholic priest's hopes of "joy and happiness" in 2015 were thwarted by his arrest in Florida for possession of child pornography and exposing a minor to the same. Reverend Jose Palimattom, 48, a Catholic priest visiting from India, was arrested by Palm Beach County officers on Monday and his bail is set for $10,000.

West Palm Beach Florida division of abc reports that Palimattom had sought the help of a 4-year old boy to delete over 40 pornographic images of young boys from his phone. The tag words in the images included "little boys," and "young boys 10-18 yoa", etc.

The father of the minor was informed of the matter and he immediately contacted the Palm Beach County Sheriff's office. That night, the priest even sent a text to the victim, "goodnight, sweet dreams."

Palimattom, a priest of the Franciscan Province of St Thomas the Apostle in India, was serving a two-year residency at Holy Name of Jesus Parish in West Palm Beach from December 2014. He admitted to the officers that back in India he had been reprimanded by his church for being "involved with a minor male". The incident was not reported to the police.

The native of Angamali in India's southern state of Kerala was forbidden from keeping any contact with minors in the absence of adults, the head pastor at Holy Name Catholic Church revealed. The diocese claimed to be "greatly concerned" and said they would fully cooperate in the investigation.

The diocese also said that while conducting a background check on Palimattom, no prior misconduct was detected and that the Minister Provincial in India had given him a Certificate of Aptitude.

Catholic sex abuse cases no longer shock especially since their expose in the late 1980s, wherein members of the Catholic hierarchy admitted to not reporting many cases of sexual abuse of minors to the legal authorities.

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