Nun files sexual abuse case against bishop, diocese denies charge

The nun complained ten days after the bishop filed a case against her brother


By Matters India Reporter

New Delhi: Police in Kerala have registered a sexual case against a Catholic bishop, television channels in the southern Indian state reported on June 29.

The case was filed by a Catholic nun who has worked in Jalandhar diocese in the northern Indian state of Punjab, now headed by Bishop Franco Mulakkal.

“It is a false case filed in retaliation,” Father Peter Kavumpuram, public relations officer of Jalandhar diocese, told Matters India on June 29.

This is the first sexual abuse case against a bishop in India where several priests have been arrested for the crime.

The priest said the nun went to the police ten days after the diocese filed a police case in Kerala’s Kottayam town against her brother who had sent life threatening letters to Bishop Mulakkal.

“The letter had threatened to cut the bishop into pieces when he comes to Kerala next,” Father Kavumpuram explained. Local newspapers had reported the bishop receiving threat to his life.

In her complaint to the police, the nun alleged the 55-year-old prelate had in 2014 sexually abused her at a guest house in Kuravilangad in Kottayam district.

Father Kavumpuram said the nun, who is her early 40s, belongs to the Missionaries of Jesus, a pious society of religious women. It was founded by late Capuchin Bishop Symphorian Keeprath of Jalandhar in 1993.

The nun has made several charges against the bishop and her superiors after she was removed from her posts in the congregation, the priest alleged.

He also said the superior general of the congregation would take her counselors’ team to Kerala on June 30 explain the situation to the police there.

He said the diocesan curia has decided to “go all out and fight the false case” against the bishop.

Meanwhile priests, who have worked in Jalandhar for years, see the cases as the outcome of infighting going on for years in the diocese. They said the nun had refused to oblige the bishop, who wanted to use her position to target a priest who had opposed him.

“The diocese is very rich and what we are seeing is arrogance of money power,” said a priest, who refused to be identified. “It is very sad and shocking,” he added.

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16 thoughts on “Nun files sexual abuse case against bishop, diocese denies charge

  1. 1) By all means, the bishop could be directed to step aside in order to facilitate a fully impartial and fair probe
    2) To all the demands already made, here’s an additional one of GREAT URGENCY: Raped no less than 13 time in about 24 months with the victim studiously observing the silence of the lambs? Not fair! The Vatican ought to be prevailed upon to instantly canonize the nun in question. Of course, there is no precedent for such a canonization. But this case could be a precedent

  2. if it has ever happened…surely unfortunate for the church.
    but it is too early give judgement.india has the good law and order system.all wish to have justice, let the legal actions proceed. let us Wait impartially.they both are expected to maintain dignity.

  3. When an allegation is made,the church should relieve him from duties,wait for the result of the investigation,then reinstate him.it is normal that support comes from people close to him.so many cases we have come across.more over he is not canonised yet.st.paul says that bishop should be the husband of one wife.

  4. Dear Bp. These are the trying period of your life. May these bitter experiences enable you to experience the false accusation and agony Jesus our Lord faced and also enable you to strengthen the weak who come on your way . Take heart and be brave. The Catholic Church needs you. Sincere prayers are offered for you. May Jesus strengthen you.

  5. I am not surprised to see the responses supporting Bishop Dr Franco. Last year we have seen how Fr Robin abused a girl and the girl’s father was persuaded to admit he was responsible for the pregnancy of his daughter. At that time also I have seen support pouring for Fr Robin. Priests and nuns holding very responsible positions were trying to bail out Fr Robin.

    I appreciate the courage of the nun to stand up against the Bishop… I also understand the nun has given her complaint before the church authorities some 2 years early and the church authorities have been trying for a compromise protecting the bishop. When they found it may not work, then only the bishop filed a complaint before the police in anticipation of the nun’s complaint along with a complaint supposed to be received from another lady accusing the nun of immoral activities.

    Let us not forget nuns are the helpless lot… They have been fighting a very formidable force, the male dominated church… If such a complaint from a nun has come up some 10 years ago, there is no doubt she would have been made a mental patient and forcefully admitted to one of the mental hospitals run by the church itself… Things have changed…Stringent rules are in place..not easy to get away with… I am sure more nuns will gather courage to start another “me too’ campaign….Take this as a good opportunity to clean the catholic spiritual administration in the country..

  6. Let us wait for the outcome of the investigation rather than jumping into conclusion. We have only heard one side of the story where the nun has levelled heinous allegations against the bishop.
    As readers we do not know what is the fact of the matter. Let us pray for both and also the investigating officials so that let then complete the probe and enlighten us with the real picture. Until then, let us not blame anybody………..

  7. I wonder why a nun so familiar with police station… Is she unfamiliar with church authorities like nuncio and cardinals…. Jalandhar I see in Punjab… All the way she found Kerala police more confident than on her way the two other church heads are situated in Delhi (nuncio office) and Mumbai (cbci president and Cardinal). It is shame for CRI ( not Criminal Religious of India. But catholic religious of India). I strongly suggest the role of omission by the CRI behind it… My hypothesis is the wicked plan made against a Bshop is only possible by god father role of CRI… This event is the zenith of it kind… It can be seen as anticlericalism or as feminism as male anti characters
    If CRI mechanism is not behind plot it would have condemned it within an hour… The thief is in the ship situation… Here…
    Same I doubt about Cardinal in Kerala too. But no body ever doubted this hypothesis… From holy good looking Angel sisters and priests sit in monastery confessionals….

  8. I am inclined to believe more the infighting theory. More information in this regard would enlighten the readers. In the infighting part more people may be at fault including the Bishop. Matters India kindly give us more information even if it is hearsay.

  9. Power and money game gone sour, or else, this sex misadventure would have never come out in the open. God save the laity from such hypocrite religious persons, whose number unfortunately is on rise.

  10. False allegations glorified.Why there isn’t any counter system in our country to make sure whether the allegations are right or wrong.Male person’s life is lost even if false allegations are made.

  11. It might be consensual sex. But now relationship has become sour and they are at each other’s throat. Had the relationship continued to remain sweet, would the nun have come out with the same allegations? Let the law decide the outcome.

  12. The article rightly mentions that in India several priests have been arrested for sexual abuse crimes and this is the first case against a bishop. Well, there have been cases involving bishops abusing nuns and women sexually but never ever reported. Some years ago a bishop had impregnated a nun who was working in his office. That case had a solemn burial. It is a bitter truth that several male clergy in India continue to involve themselves in such crimes but no victim has courage to come out openly due to various reasons. One important reason could be the misuse of power. In this case, the nun has come out openly and filed a case against a bishop, even if it is after a few years. It is high time for the clergy or the so called leaders of the Catholic Church in India to take this a “warning bell”, do sincere introspection and initiate corrective measures. Or else, such crimes will continue to thrive in India. Citing the resignation of Chilean Bishops, James Kottoor had raised a valid question to the Indian Bishops. But they remain silent, as usual!!!

  13. Filing a rape case after 4 years robs it of its credibility. HoevHow power struggles and money power should be decried in the strongest possible terms

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