Kerala Church Rape Case: Bishop Franco Mulakkal Steps Down
Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who has been accused of rape by a 43-year-old nun from Kerala, has stepped down from his position. It is said that the decision to step down came after the reports of the particular case came into the notice of the Vatican. The church representative from India is in the Vatican and is likely to discuss the issue, news agency ANI reported.
Bishop Franco Mulakkal said in a letter, “I am likely to be called for further clarifications by investigating officer in Kerala.”
The nun recently questioned the church officials’ irresponsible behaviour in dealing with the case. The Kottayam-based nun has accused Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal of rape and is demanding his arrest. She has also alleged that because of his improper behaviour, at least 20 nuns were forced to leave the congregation. She also alleged that Bishop Mulakkal was using “political and money power” to “bury” the case against him.
Kerala police on Friday registered a complaint against the Missionaries of Jesus hours after the congregation released a photograph of the nun, seated with her alleged tormentor. The congregation is looking for an enquiry into the nun’s allegations.
On the other hand, demanding justice in the case, a group of nuns are on an indefinite protest outside the High Court in Kochi.
The nun alleged that Mulakkal, 54, first raped her in 2014 after summoning her to discuss an important issue. He later allegedly raped her 13 times in the next two years. Mulakkal has however rejected the allegations, calling them a conspiracy against the church.
In the letter to the Vatican, the nun stated: “Though the Bishop had sexually abused me several times I could not reveal the full story to my superior general or to her councilors. I only told them repeatedly that the Bishop is taking many disciplinary actions through them just because I resisted to lie down with him.”
Mulakkal, on the other hand, told news agency ANI in Jalandhar, “I think some internal forces are using these nuns for some advantage. The antis in the church are pushing these nuns forward to raise their own issues. There is a conspiracy behind this. Few people are taking advantage of this. I will cooperate with all legal measures.”
Feature Image Credit: Hindustan Times