Latin bishops’ body to probe nun’s rape charges

This is perhaps the first reaction from the Church hierarchy about the nun’s allegation


Kottayam: The Conference of the Catholic Bishops of India, the national apex body of Latin rites bishops in the country, will inquire into the sexual harassment allegation raised by a nun against Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Mulakkal.

The CCBI will submit a report to the Apostolic Nuncio of Vatican to India after the inquiry, said Bishop Joshua Mar Ignathios of Mavelikara, the first vice president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI).

The CBCI is the national body of bishops belonging to all three rites in India – Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara.

Bishop Ignathios said that the guilty will be punished.

This is perhaps the first reaction from the Church hierarchy about the allegation raised by the nun of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation.

“I have spoken to the CBCI secretary-general Bishop Theodore Mascrenhas regarding the issue. The CCBI, which is a forum of the Latin bishops, will inquire into the sexual harassment allegations since the Jalandhar diocese comes under the Latin rite. They will conduct an inquiry and the report will be presented to the Apostolic Nuncio of Vatican to India, Archbishop Giambattista Diquattro,” Mar Ignathios told deccanchronicle.com.

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12 thoughts on “Latin bishops’ body to probe nun’s rape charges

  1. Eight days have passed since news appeared that Latin Bishops’ Body would probe the nun’s rape charges. What is the further development in the matter? Has the Inquiry Committee been formed?

  2. Also, requesting mattersindia.com NOT to use such figurative depictions (symbolic art work?) into the article, which kind of portrays the verdict already. It is extremely unfair and sad for those who are innocent and are being tried…

    Thanking you in Christ Jesus,
    Pari

  3. Will be good to understand those who helped the religious sister write her FIR… the detailing aspects, the language used, the objectives…

    Are there brothers of the concerned religious sister who are also priests? Did this family have problems with money handling/records? Who is being saved by whom and at what cost?

    Is there any point in taking on muck when it is NOT necessary? It is not just the person, but the office, the calling, that is being desecrated by those who relish just ‘some truth’ Na? How many people are re-painting our Church under this light? Is our faith so rootless that we are OK to allow lies and deception take over in desecrating what is holy, even IF for a while until The Truth ‘turns all that is crimson to that which is white as snow’?

    Much prayers continue for everyone,
    With LOVE in Christ Jesus,
    Pari

  4. The probe by the church is the firstep in the due process of establishing guilt if any to impose ecclesiastical sanctions or punishments if the accused is found guilty. Regarding the timing of the probe , I have no comments.

  5. In the light of the allegations of rape against some priests of the Malankara Orthodox Church,and the Catholic bishop of Jalandhar there seems to be some confusion in the minds of readers as to what constitutes rape, forced or consensual sex. I am not a lawyer, but would like to place before the readers the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Act 45 of 1860. which is still in force in India.I will only quote the relevant provisions.

    Section 375 defines rape. There are six circumstances of which the first three are relevant to us. Firstly, it is when it is against her will. Secondly, when it is without her consent. Thirdly (which is most relevant to us), when it is with her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested, in fear of death or of hurt.

    Section 376 deals with punishment for rape. “Normally” the punishment should not be for less than seven years. However, in the case of rape by a person in power or authority, the same offence is graver; attracting a sentence of ten years rigorous imprisonment or life and fine (Sec 376g). In the present case it could be by a public servant taking advantage of his official position (Sec 376b), a person being on the management of a woman’s or children’s institution, who takes advantage of his official position (Sec 376c).

    Even if a person takes advantage of his official position to seduce or induce any woman for sexual intercourse, not amounting to rape, the punishment may extend to five years with fine (Sec 376B). The same applies to the manager or superintendent of a woman’s or children’s institution (Sec 376C) or a hospital (Sec 376D).

    The allegations of rape/ consensual/ forced sex should be seen in the light of these provisions of law. Male chauvinists, and “defenders of the faith” please note.

  6. Church leaders wake up when everything gets rotten and foul smell spreads everywhere. What is what is the use of such investigation now when police are doing the matter already. Even if they find the accused bishop clean, still it can be put in the dustbin since their finding cannot overturn the state probe.

    The general tendency of Church leadership in India always is to save priest class from any kind of crime they commit on the plea that it will tarnish the image of Church.

  7. I fully agree with what the two above comments have to say. Any inquiry needs to be either neutral, or equally constituted by the parties involved. In the past the church is known to have hushed up scandals.

    Subhash Anand

  8. Agreeing with Chhotebhai and brother George, I add that the enquiry panel should not ask the nun to withdraw her complaint lodged with the Police and other civil authorities.

  9. Unless equal number of independent thinking women and lay activists are included in the panel of enquiry, the complainant nun should not participate in it.

  10. I agree with the views expressed by George Nedumparambil and Chhotebhai. Also, the enquiry should follow laid down procedure of law. The complainant nun should be allowed to engage a lawyer of her choice to plead her case.

  11. Better late than never. This inquiry should be time bound. I also agree with George’s suggestion that the committee should include nuns and laity, especially women.

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