Rape accused bishop asks Pope for interim relief

Kerala police have asked the prelate to appear for interrogation on September 19

By Matters India Reporter

New Delhi: Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar, who has been accused of sexually abusing a nun, has written to Pope Francis for temporary relief from his episcopal ministry.

A September 16 press note from Father Peter Kavumpuram, the public relations of officer of the northern Indian diocese, says the prelate’s move comes in the backdrop of the Kerala High Court’s observation of lack of adequate evidence for the bishop’s arrest “Indicating his innocence.”

The press note claims the bishop has decided on his own to write the Pope expressing his desire to step down from the administration of the diocese.

“He is confident that his request will be accepted,” the 79-word press note in English says.

In another longer press note in Malayalam, Father Kavumpuram said the allegations against Bishop Mulakkal have been sad and painful to both the prelate and to all those who love him as well as the diocese.

“Let us join with prayers in [Bishop Mulakkal’s] hope and desire for God’s will to be done and truth to prevail,” it says.

The Malayalam press note also says the bishop decided to step aside temporarily as he has to travel to Kerala several times spending to attend to the case there.

On September 13, Bishop Mulakkal had written to his priests, nuns and brothers in his diocese that he was handing over the diocesan administration to vicar general Monsignor Mathew Kokkandam.

The police in Kerala had asked the prelate to come to the southern Indian diocese on September 19 to face a second round of interrogation. A police team from Kerala had questioned him in August appear at his residence in Jalandhar, a city in the northern Indian state of Punjab. The diocese covers the entire state.

The case began on June 28 when a member of the Missionaries of Jesus living in Kerala lodged a police complaint alleging Bishop Mulakkal had subjected her to rape and unnatural sex 13 times during 2014-2016.

The bishop has denied the charges, calling them “concocted” and said the nun holds a vendetta against him after he had initiated disciplinary action against her. In interviews with Indian television channels on Sept. 10, Bishop Mulakkal, 54, said he had advised the present superior of the Missionaries of Jesus to act on a complaint from a married woman who said the nun was having an affair with her husband.

Bishop Mulakkal says the allegation against him is “pressure tactics” sponsored by anti-church groups.

Several groups have demanded the bishop’s resignation to help the police to probe the case without interference and pressure.

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3 thoughts on “Rape accused bishop asks Pope for interim relief

  1. History repeats…. A catholic monk from Gremany challenged the clericalism of Popes, bishops and priests… In 16th century, it was the end of scholasticism, the church in the most powerful in seculare sectors colapsed in Europe… Now the catholic Priests and bishops in European countries move around like any other citizen without any special significance unlike in India where religiousity is praised as heavenly…
    It was the initiation by a catholic religious member of Germany monk Martin Luther,
    now in modern India india, woman empowered Religious nun from India/ Kerala Leading a public strike with the help of antichristian groups few of them are the Angry rebellious RSS, Satan Worshippers, etc…
    Martin never expected the present form of Protestantism but it resulted… But Kerala laity may not go for it as they are better than the religious nuns of Kerala are… They might go for committed families serving the church as now the religious expected to do for the church… The net result I expect is our Kerala parents will not Send even a single normal girl for this cheap works in the name of samarpitha jeevitham…
    In Malayalam Chanel Sr.Anupana too says something will come out I don’t know the net result….
    Any way CRI silently observed until its complete destruction, bishops had no moral power to open mouth or even to write…
    CBCI remained mental retardant… Depressive silent….
    Morally welformed Laymen came to defend but they were scolded privately by cassock wearing anticatholic priests from CAsh making institutions…
    Ernakulam angamali priests who supposed have been dismissed from priestly ministry again wearing cassock stood with Satan worshipping movements against catholic structure…
    The word of God accomplished here ….one who did not do sin let him throw the stone first… So all the bishops in CBCI stood silent hanging their head down… Not Even one could intervene to solve concretely
    People started to say we need bishops who are holy, bishops who are mature in age and psychologically sound, bishops who are not crazy for power and money….

  2. This is the theatre of the absurd. A litigant seeks interim relief from a court. If I understand correctly the bishop is actually asking to be temporarily relieved of his episcopal duties, not interim relief!!

  3. Bp Mulackal has not taken this step of his own free will. It is a result of sustained pressure through the media, writers and activists. Had he humbly taken this step two months ago when the accusations first surfaced the Catholic Church in India would have been spared many blushes, and he himself would have been considered an honourable man. Nevertheless, better late than never.

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