The Bishop of Jaipur Oswald J Lewis has written to the city’s Catholic Diocese to “fast and pray” for priest Georgish Britto, who was accused of sending vulgar messages to a school girl in Rajasthan’s Alwar.

“I request you to fast and pray that we may tide over this situation and that Fr Georgish Britto may have the strength and courage to bear the cross that the Lord has given him,” Lewis wrote in the letter dated April 24. “Thank you for your understanding of the situation sympathetically and praying for us.”

The Rajasthan Police booked Britto, the deputy principal and coordinator of the school, under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act in April for allegedly sending vulgar text messages to a Class 9 student. Britto has been in prison since April 20.

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Station house officer of Alwar’s Aravali Vihar police station, Sheeshram Meena, said Britto and the girl became close after he supported her when she was bullied by some schoolboys, the Hindustan Times reported.

Father Prasad from the Bishop’s House claimed the messages sent by Britto were taken out of context and that the family only highlighted some of the messages.

“Since he [Britto] joined the diocese as a full-time priest, he is also a part of the family,” Prasad said. “Bishop is his father now. So even if he has committed a mistake, we cannot disown him. If any crime is proven against him, he will undergo punishment as per the law. We can’t help it. Even then, we won’t disown him.”