The 46-year-old nun, accused the Catholic Bishop of raping her over 13 times from 2014 and 2016 in Kerala. While the Catholic Bishop debunked the allegations and accused ‘anti-church elements’ of falsely implicating him, Archbishop of Bombay, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, who is also the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, and an advisor to the Pope, has stated that he will try to address the matter to Pope Francis. Cardinal Gracias is currently touring the Vatican.
However Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who was named in the sexual abuse case by a nun, got a breather from the Kerala High Court on Thursday as it said “arrest is not the issue”. Expressing satisfaction in the ongoing probe, the court observed that since it was an old case, the probe and the investigation will take time and “not the arrest but final punishment of the accused is more important”.
The Catholic Bishop was however advised by Fr. Nigel to step down pending an impartial inquiry, a position he will eventually get back if innocent. India Today however reported that Bishop Franco Mulakkal is now alleging that the Kerela nun who filed the sexual assault case against him, was involved in an “illicit relationship” with a relative. Backing him in this claim is the convent’s Mother General Regina Kadamthottu.
According to him, the wife of the man who allegedly had relations with the nun had told him and the Mother General so.
“The lady came to Jalandhar to expose the nun. She had told me and the Mother General about how the nun was trying to ruin her married life,” Bishop Mulakkal claimed. “She had also confronted her husband and had seen the texts exchanged between the two.”
“On May 26, 2017, the nun finally decided to leave the congregation. Mother General then called me up. However, the nun later withdrew the application and returned to the congregation,” the rape accused bishop said.
The Police however invited Franco Mulakkal to review the progress made in the case.
“There are a lot of contradictions in the case. This is an old case based primarily on oral evidence. We have verified a lot of contradictions. It’s our duty to protect the victim and witnesses, ” Inspector General of Police Vijay Sakhare said.