BANGKOK – Phra Dhammachayo has been relieved of his duty and responsibility as the abbot of Wat Dhammakaya effective as of Thursday by the Pathum Thani chief monk, citing his prolonged illness.
The removal of Phra Dhammachayo or Phra Thepyarn Mahamuni as the abbot of Wat Dhammakaya was announced on Thursday by Mr Phanom Sornsilp, director of the National Office of Buddhism.
Mr Phanom said the Pathum Thani chief monk felt that the embattled abbot had fallen sick from diabetes, blood clot on the left leg and allergy for a long time and, for that matter, should be relieved of his burden as the abbot of Wat Dhammakaya so that he would be given proper medical treatment.
However, Phra Dhammachayo was appointed the honorary abbot of the temple.
Appointed as Dhammachayo’s successor by the chief monk of Tambon Klong See was Phra Vithet Pavanajarn, the assistant abbot of the temple, effective as of Thursday.
Phra Dhammachayo is facing charges of money laundering, conspiracy to launder money, receiving ill-gotten gains and forest encroachment. He is yet to turn himself in to acknowledge the charges against him.