Bishop Franco Mulakkal, Accused Of Raping Kerala Nun, Temporarily Removed By Vatican

Pauline Gross
September 22, 2018

After three days of interrogation that exceeded over 23 hours, the Special Investigation Team probing the alleged rape of a nun belonging to the Missionaries of Jesus congregation on Friday arrested Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal accused of the crime.

An Indian bishop accused by a nun of raping her was arrested Friday, in a high-profile abuse case that had triggered angry protests by clergy over police inaction, Press Trust of India reported. On September 16, Mulakkal had written a letter to Pope Francis and sought permission to temporarily step down from his responsibilities at the Jalandhar Diocese.

The contention of the accused that the allegation against him was the outcome of a conspiracy had collapsed in the face of the evidence collected by the police and the information gathered after questioning.

The nun in Kerala alleged that she was sexually abused by Franco Mulakkal 13 times between 2014 and 2016 during his visits to a convent in Kottayam district.

The bishop has not been charged, but has given interviews denying wrongdoing and saying he wanted to defend his name.

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Mulakkal, 54, was ordained as a priest in 1990 in the northern Indian Punjab state and was elevated as the bishop of the Diocese of Jalandhar five years ago.

Her letter, leaked to Indian media, said Mulakkal was "using political and money power to bury the case".

Police in India are now investigating the charges of rape, illegal confinement, unnatural sex and intimidation.

The Vatican's decision was welcomed by the nuns protesting against Mulakkal, reported PTI. "It is the first victory in our struggle against the Bishop". She said she had to approach the police as the church authorities did not act on her repeated complaints against the clergyman. "We are very happy. the Vatican has finally heard our prayers", said one of the nuns.

Other reports by GizPress

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