By Matters India Reporter
New Delhi: The Indian Christian Women’s movement (ICWM), a national ecumenical movement, has demanded action against Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar, accused of raping a nun repeatedly over a period of two years.
The movement expressed solidarity with the public protest, now underway in Kochi, Kerala, against police inaction in following up on the evidence against him. ICWM commended the courageous action of the five nuns in joining the protest for justice.
The ecumenical group condemned the police laxity in the probe against the bishop and their inaction against him, “despite the testimonies of the survivor and others from her congregation.”
“The ICWM expresses its anger, pain and shame at the silence of the Catholic hierarchy and their refusal to make the accused step down from office while the police investigation is ongoing. ICWM questions the credibility of the hierarchy in promoting a policy to address sexual harassment in the Church when it has failed to institute an ecclesiastical enquiry against an accused bishop,” a statement from the movement says.
It also expressed outrage at the religio-political nexus in Kerala “which is serving to safeguard the criminal, and the way the resources of the Church are being used to protect the accused and divert the course of the police investigation.”
The ICWM demanded the immediate sacking of P C George an independent legislator of Kerala who made an outright derogatory and misogynistic remark in a press conference, openly shaming the rape survivor by labeling her a prostitute, misnaming the rape as an act of pleasure and questioning the right of the raped nun to call the rape a rape.
“The ICWM condemns the impunity with which the said MLA later asserted to a news anchor that he stands by what he had said about the rape survivor,” adds the statement signed by its national president Kochurani Abraham, national secretary Jessica Prakash Richard, and national team members Aruna Gnanadason, Astrid Lobo Gajiwala and Noella D’Souza.