Indian Catholic nuns protest against bishop accused of rape in Kerala

Bishop Targets Nun

Her missive comes amid protests by a group of nuns and others against the delay in taking action against the bishop, who has been accused of rape and unnatural sex with the complainant multiple times between 2014 and 2016.

The nun, who admitted to be under huge pressure in her battle against Bishop Franco Mulakkal, said that she was pained by the derogatory comments raised against her by sitting legislator PC George and will not meet the media. Reportedly, Catholic reformation organizations also joined the protest which had been called by the Joint Christian Council.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Diocese of Jalandhar (where the accused bishop is posted) has questioned the nun's motives and has termed her complaint as vendetta.

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The protesting nuns rejected the charge and said they will continue their agitation till justice was delivered.

Noting that she felt the Catholic Church was still doubting her over the argument as to why she allowed the bishop to sexually abuse her multiple times, the nun said she had tremendous fear and shame to bring this out into the open. The nuns and their families are facing mental trauma and continuous pressure from the church, but they are keen to fight for their fellow sister. Following her complaint, the bishop was booked under Section 376 of Indian Penal Code. "Her sister was with her and she told us that the nun cried as soon as she heard PC George, and ran into her room", said Sister Anupama.

Kottayam district police chief Hari Shankar has reportedly approached the director general of police Loknath Behera requesting that the high-profile case be handed over to the crime branch, though the latter said no such decision has been taken yet.

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"I beg the Church authorities to kindly make a speedy enquiry about this case and remove Bishop Franco from his responsibilities as the spiritual leader of the diocese", the nun said.

However, all the allegations have been denied by the bishop.

Copies of the letter were sent to 21 others, including the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) President Cardinal Oswald Gracias and Delhi Metropolitan Archbishop, Anil Couto. However, their move did attract some strong criticism as The Missionaries of Jesus congregation, to which the nuns belong, on September 10 condemned the protest by the five nuns.

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"At this moment, whatever is going on is not justifiable".

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