Nun’s rape: Indian bishops agonize over media attacks

By Matters India Reporter

New Delhi: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India has expressed anguish over “ constant” media attacks on the Church implying that it was trying to cover up a sexual abuse case against a prelate.

“This accusation does not correspond to the truth. Church authorities have studied and continue to examine this serious and complex matter,” says a September 30 press statement from conference president Cardinal Oswald Gracias.

The cardinal issued the note two days after the conference’s Standing Committee met at Bengaluru to address recent happenings in the Indian Church.

The September 27-28 meeting took place three days after a magistrate in Palai, Kerala, sent Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar to police custody until October 5. The 54-year-old bishop is accused to repeatedly raping a Catholic nun between 2014 and 2016. He was arrested on September 21 after three days of intense interrogation.

Bishop Mulakkal has denied the charges.

Cardinal Gracias says the Church did not make any statements on the matter since civil authorities were making their investigations. “We realize that such matters require time and discernment. We reiterate that we have full confidence in the judicial system of our country,” asserts the cardinal, who is one of the eight advisers of Pope Francis.

The press release also said the Standing Committee spent a “special Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament” to pray for the Church in India and seek strength and guidance for the prelates to carry out their responsibilities.

The committee comprises all archbishops and chairperson of various CBCI Offices. They meet twice every year to address various issues affecting the Church and the nation.

The bishops also urged “all people of good will” to pray for those involved the case “that their sufferings might be alleviated, the spiritual wounds healed, the truth recognized and that justice be done.”

Meanwhile on October 1 television channels in Kerala reported that Bishop Mathew Arackal of Kanjirapally and his auxiliary Bishop Jose Pulickal and Auxiliary Bishop Samuel Mar Iranios of Trivandrum met Bishop Mulakkal in the jail. Earlier, Auxiliary Bishop Jacob Murickan had also met the jailed the bishop.

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7 thoughts on “Nun’s rape: Indian bishops agonize over media attacks

  1. We honour our Cardinal… We respect his wisdom and genuine nature and big profile internationally…
    Whatever it may be
    Indian church is in fire but… Unless and until religious are regulated under canon law… More worse is yet to come… Regulate religious bishops too in there irregular relation in entertaining CRI…
    A very powerful Kerala Catholic MLA in his interview in a channel shared his doubt in religious sisters’ strong relation with black mass group…
    Logically it is true how the number of black mass group can increase without stollen holy Eucharist… Without sacristan sisters, religious nuns who are given key of the tabernacle to open the Eucharist for adoration (without any logic as it is not necessary to open when priests are not available) lay sacristans and priests..
    Dear Cardinal Strictly seriously follow canon law…
    Take confidence of the priests of the dioceses specially all parish priests of all kind… Count the number of religious nuns turning out and appearing in social media..and increasing Adultry cases of nuns theses days… They need money. They have to find out their own way available to them.. MLA suggested nun candidates in Kerala only should be accepted in convents after 21 of her age…many nuns are exhosted due to wrong decision
    It is our last suggestion if you have ear hear it.. It is very hard to say again and again

  2. Actually, the laity is much more agonized over the behaviour of the CBCI and utterances by some of its member bishops.

  3. Earlier I had publicly praised Cardinal Gracias for his intervention in the case. But his present statement is disappointing. Blaming the media for doing its job is like the foolish boy crying wolf. This is the theatre of the absurd.

  4. After a train accident then Railway Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri resigned, assuming moral responsibility. He went on to become a much respected Prime Minister. Resigning on moral grounds actually raises the bar.

  5. SHAME on the bishop who compared Franco being in jail to Jesus’ crucifixion. These wise men of Gotham suffer from a serious case of foot in mouth disease. Obviously their invincibility has taken a big hit. Absurd.

  6. I fully endorse the views of Roy Chowdhury and Sebastian Vattamattam. The bishops have brought this upon themselves by their dilly dallying and deafening silence in the case.

  7. A morally upright public figure should step down from the beginning of the case when he is accused (falsely or rightly). That is commanding public respect and showing moral courage. Do not blame the media. They do their work, taking the side of the voiceless, the weak and the oppressed. Once, the accused person steps down from public office, media will not hunt the person as it did with Franco, media will leave it to the law to take its course to prove innocence or guilt. What Franco did was to provide fodder to the hungry media. And the media had a field day!

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