Bishop Richard Stika and the Diocese of Knoxville embroiled in another lawsuit - Sexual assault by priest in Gatlinburg alleged by parishioner
For immediate release:
April 22, 2022 - Susan Vance, SNAP of Tennessee
Two outlets have articles printed so far on the indictment and arrest of the pastor of St. Mary's Church in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The arrest took place in January 5, 2022, but Diocese of Knoxville officials have not seen fit to report it to the people of the Catholic church or the public in general.

Father Antony D. Punnackal, CMI, is alleged to have assaulted a woman parishioner in February 2020. Liam Adams of the Nashville Tennessean and reporting for the Knoxville News Sentinel states that the Diocese is being accused of mishandling a sexual abuse case.

The Mountain Press had a short article on January 7, 2022, about the arrest of Punnackal but no other reporting has been done.

"Again, we are all victims of a cover-up by the Catholic church in Tennessee," says Susan Vance of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "When will the lies stop and the cover-up by the Diocese be exposed? Adult sexual exploitation and assault is on the rise in the church and needs to be addressed. Bishop Stika needs to resign."

Punnackal's 25th anniversary celebration of his priesthood:

Diocesan event on day of indictment - Groundbreaking in Crossville, TN:
[SNAP of Tennessee] | [865-748-3518] | [