Two monks defrocked for misconduct in Thailand

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

Two senior monks, one aged 70 and another 60, were defrocked following complaints of inappropriate behaviour. Luang Pi Namfon, from the local Buddhist office, led the intervention after reports of the monks not residing at their temples and engaging in activities unbecoming of their monastic vows surfaced.

Luang Pi Namfon today, February 16, accompanied by a deputy, coordinated with the Nakhon Pathom Office of Buddhism to investigate a residence on Kang Buay Street in downtown Nakhon Pathom.

This action was in response to grievances aired by locals concerning the 70 year old monk who had been residing at the said address for a prolonged period, not returning to his home temple, and was regularly spotted driving a pickup truck for alms collection, which he parked at a nearby public park almost daily.

Upon arriving at the reported residence, they confronted the monk, who resisted their inquiries and became visibly upset when asked to produce his identification documents.

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The incident drew the attention of several neighbours. The investigative team escorted the monk to Wat Phai Lom to further the inquiry and to communicate with the abbot of his home temple in Kanchanaburi province. However, the lack of evidence prompted a referral to the district’s chief monk for further examination.

Two monks defrocked for misconduct in Thailand | News by Thaiger
Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

The chief monk of the district, Phra Khru Thaksinanutakit, after questioning the monk and attempting to verify his status with the home temple, discovered a discrepancy in the documents presented.

A phone conversation with the abbot confirmed that although the individual was a bona fide monk, he no longer resided at the temple, contradicting the existing records.

The findings revealed unauthorised alterations to his documents, which lacked the appropriate signatures from district and sub-district monastic authorities, leading to an immediate order for his defrocking, reported KhaoSod.

Simultaneously, another complaint led to the discovery of a 60 year old monk who had been residing near a well-known hotel along Phetkasem Road for approximately three months. His home temple was identified in Suphan Buri province. He was defrocked following an investigation by the district’s chief monk.

Two monks defrocked for misconduct in Thailand | News by Thaiger
Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

Phra Khru Thaksinanutakit stated that the actions taken against the monks were a direct consequence of public complaints about their long-term absence from monastic life and improper behaviour.

The defrocking was justified by the discovery of forged documents and non-compliance with monastic regulations, which require monks to reside at their temples and involve themselves in temple activities.

Luang Pi Namfon emphasised the need for strict oversight within the monastic community, especially by the governing bodies, to prevent such incidents. He urged monks to consider the potential for defrocking if they engaged in similar misconduct.

He also called for public vigilance to support the monastic community in maintaining proper conduct.

Two monks defrocked for misconduct in Thailand | News by Thaiger
Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

In his role as the head of the committee responsible for addressing issues and complaints within the monastic jurisdiction of Region 14, Luang Pi Namfon reinforced the commitment to joint efforts, not only within the region but also nationwide, to monitor and prevent inappropriate behaviour among monks.

He assured that any such cases reaching him would be dealt with straightforwardly, by both legal and monastic rules.

Thailand News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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