Kerala nun rape case: Bishop Franco Mulakkal moves HC for anticipatory bail
Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal who said that Nun is lying, rape charge against me a conspiracy by those against church. Express photo.
Trivandrum: Jalandhar-based Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun, approached the Kerala High Court on Tuesday seeking anticipatory bail in the case, according to PTI. The matter will be heard later in the day.
The 54-year-old bishop claimed that the allegations levelled by the nun, serving in a congregation under the Jalandhar Diocese, is “wholly concocted and cooked up only to wreak vengeance” for the actions taken by him on various complaints received against her.
Claiming innocence, the bishop also said the complaint was “nothing but a fictional story” by the nun.
In a letter dated September 16, Bishop Mulakkal sought permission from Pope Francis to step down temporarily, saying he needed more time to travel to Kerala and fight the case. The bishop also issued a circular delegating Monsignor Mathew Kokkandum to administer the activities of Diocese on his behalf as he was issued a notice by the Kerala Police to appear before it on September 19 for further investigations.
A nun belonging to the Catholic congregation of Missionaries of Jesus in Jalandhar filed a police complaint against Bishop Franco Mulakkal in June alleging that he raped and subjected her to unnatural sex 13 times since 2014 at a convent in Kuravilangad.
Accusing the bishop of sending lewd messages and obscene pictures over the phone, the nun said she had also informed Cardinal George Alancherry, the head of the Kochi-based Syro-Malabar Church about the alleged abuse. Alencherry has claimed that the nun had talked about the “torture” at the congregation, but did not mention sexual abuse. As the Church took no action, the nun approached the police.
The victim nun alleged that Bishop Mulakkal was using “political and money power” to “bury” the case against him. She had recently sought an urgent intervention of the Vatican for justice and demanded the bishop’s removal as the head of the Jalandhar diocese, questioning why the church was “closing its eyes to the truth” when she had mustered the courage to make her suffering public.