MAE HONG SON – A Canadian monk who lives in the mountains of Northern Thailand to be disrobed after admitting to sexual relations on a television.
Phra Julien Apataro has spent almost 20 years living as a monk on a remote hillside in the Sop Moei district of Mae Hong Son province. He admitted on a televised news show on Friday to having had sexual relations with women.
Apologizing to Thai people over his indiscipline, the Canadian monk said that he would leave the monkhood.
Mae Hong Son’s governor told the Nation that if Phra Julien had committed the indiscipline as reported, he must be disrobed at the temple where he was ordained. He said the monk’s alleged actions tarnish the religion.
Phra Julien had been ordained at a temple in Chiang Mai province. Hence the ceremony must be held by his preceptor monk there, the senior monk explained.
He said he had already assigned the Sop Moei ecclesiastical chief to launch a fact-finding mission.
Phra Julien first came to Thailand at age 18 as a Canadian exchange student and became interested in practicing meditation.
He returned to Thailand in 1998 and then practiced the Eight Precept principle on his own for a year.
After being ordained a monk in 2000, he resided in Sop Moei where villagers built a small monastery for him.
The Canadian monk lived modestly, eating fruit and vegetables and would collect alms twice a week.
His story – of a western monk living in rural Thai area — was publicized by foreign media as well as Thailand’s popular “Khon Khon Khon” TV program several years ago.