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Kerala nun writes to Vatican seeking immediate intervention into rape case against Bishop Franco Mulakkal

A Kerala nun, who was allegedly raped multiple times between 2014 and 2016 by Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Jalandhar diocese, on Tuesday wrote a letter to the Vatican seeking immediate intervention in the sexual harassment case against the accused bishop, ANI reported.

File image of the nun protest in Kochi. Twitter

File image of the nun protest in Kochi. Twitter

In a seven-page letter addressed to the Apostolic Nunciature, the nun alleged that Mulakkal, a Roman Catholic church bishop, is using money power to scuttle the complaint against him. The nun has also called Mulakkal a "predator" in her letter, and has asked for justice, India Today reported. As per a report from ANI, the nun also described the ordeal she allegedly went through at the hands of the bishop, as well as the trauma that she has been facing ever since she spoke about the abuse.

Alleging the church authorities of inaction, the nun, who is part of the St Francis Mission Home in Kottayam district of Kerala, wrote, "I feel this kind of silence on the part of the church authorities and protection of those who commit the crime may create a situation where the church loses its credibility before society."

She added, "It will have a very adverse effect on women in the Indian church that they have no other option than to react in a manner that safeguards their dignity as human persons even at the cost of losing their Catholic faith."

The move comes after members of various Catholic reformation organisations on Saturday protested the alleged laxity in the probe into a complaint of rape filed by the nun. They demanded that he is arrested, and said that their protests will continue until then.

The protesting nuns claimed that they have neither received help from the police, nor the church authorities and the government. They alleged that the probe is being delayed as the accused is an influential authority in the Roman Catholic Church and is not a layman. They also denounced the handing over of the probe to the Crime Branch.

Additionally, the nuns decided to initiate legal action against an Independent MLA who had maligned the complainant. While addressing a press conference in Kottayam on Saturday, Poonjar MLA PC George had called her a "prostitute" and sought to know why she had not filed a complaint during the initial stages of sexual misbehaviour by the bishop.

The Missionaries of Jesus on Tuesday condemned the protest, calling the nun's allegations against the bishop "baseless," and that they "cannot crucify an innocent". ANI quoted the missionaries as saying "Our conscious doesn't allow us to crucify an innocent soul (Jalandhar Bishop) based on sexual abuse allegations by a nun. We suspect nuns have been forced into the protests by external influence."

The nun accused Bishop Mulakkal of raping and forcing unnatural sex multiple times on her, between 2014 and 2016.


Updated Date: Sep 11, 2018 14:44 PM

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