Kannur/Kochi:The major archbishop of Kerala's Syro Malabar Church, Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, termed the sexual assault of a minor girl by a priest as "very serious".
"The priest has committed a grave mistake. The church would not protect the accused," he told reporters in Kochi.
He also said steps would be taken to ensure that such mistakes are not repeated in the Syro Malabar Church.
Based on a complaint lodged by the victim's mother with the Childline that Fr Robin Vadakkumcherry had "sexually exploited" her daughter last year, the vicar was arrested on February 28.
He was also removed from office by church authorities.
Rape of minor girl by Keralite priest: eight, including 5 nuns, named accused
The offense came to light after the girl, a resident of Neendunokki in the district, gave birth to a baby boy at a private hospital in Koothuparamba in February.
The accused was the manager of the school in which the 11th standard student was studying, police said.
Eight people, including five nuns, were booked for their role in hiding facts related to the rape of the minor girl.