Indian Catholic nuns protest against bishop accused of rape

Indian Catholic nuns protest against bishop accused of rape

The Diocese of Jalandhar has come out in support of a bishop who is accused of raping a nun in Kerala on multiple occasions between 2014 and 2016.

"The Church leadership should seriously address the allegations raised by the nun", he said.

"They are arranging people to attack us and Bishop Franco is using his political power and money to get higher authorities of the investigation and the government to bury legal proceedings that I have filed against him", she charged.

As per the initial investigation of the police, Bishop of Jalandhar Franco Mulakkal abused his position and repeatedly raped a nun from Kerala, a special team probing the case told the Kerala High Court.

On Saturday, in a protest organised by the joint Christian Council, the nuns and other protesters marched in protest to the High Court in Kochi, Kerala, holding placards and banners, UCAN news reports.

"Though Bishop Franco had sexually abused me several times, I could not reveal the full story to my Superior General or to her Councilors. If I leave my post at this stage people will say that I have admitted my guilt", he said talking to HT over phone.

He added that no other nun had filed evidence against the bishop and that there was not of yet any scientific evidence to substantiate the rape charges. The statement also questioned why the nun did not approach police when she was first raped.

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"We are not getting justice from the police, church authorities and the government".

Making a fervent plea for urgent intervention, the nun in a scathing letter also sought to explain her silence before coming out against the bishop and said she had "tremendous fear and shame" and wondered why the church was "closing its eyes towards the truth".

"I am not saying that the Bishop hasn't done any wrong, but when you weigh his character against that of this nun, it is evident she is not above reproach". 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.

With the police facing heat, a senior official on Monday said the bishop may be summoned to Kerala for interrogation.

The legislator's comments were also slammed by the NCW Chief Rekha Sharma who said that the incident was "shameful".

"The complainant's sister, myself and God (know the truth)", he said.

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