A 43-year-old nun, who has been fighting to expose a “predatory” bishop, has now sent a seven-page letter to the Vatican’s India Ambassador. She has 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 that because of his sexual advances, at least 20 nuns were forced to leave the congregation.
Demanding justice in the case, a group of nuns are on an indefinite protest outside the High Court in Kochi.
The nun has alleged that Mulakkal, 54, first raped her in 2014 when he summoned her to discuss an important issue. He later allegedly raped her 13 times in the next two years. Mulakkal (54), bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, 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.”
“As they failed to understand seriousness of these words I could not tell them more than this. And I had the fear that Bishop Franco may harm me with the support of my superiors,” she said in her letter to The Apostle Nuncio of India, the Pope’s ambassador.
Ever since she has accused the bishop of sexual abuse, the nun is reportedly facing increasing stigma and persecution from local church authorities. In May this year, she said she sent three letters to Rome, including Pope Francis, but all in vain.
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“Bishop Franco had always an eagle’s eye on few other sisters of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation. Whichever sister he felt attracted to, he tried to put them in his trap by force or taking advantage of their weaknesses,” she alleged
“They are arranging people to attack us and Bishop Franco is using his political power and money to get higher authorities of the investigation and the government to bury legal proceedings that I have filed against 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.”
Now the Nuns are planning to shift their protests to the state secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram if their cries are not heard.
Feature Image Credit: Hindustan Times