Should Kerala govt step in to bring rape-accused priest to justice?

Larry Hoffman
September 12, 2018

She petitioned the Vatican alleging that the bishop is using "political and money power" to bury the case.

George said that he initially thought that the Bishop Franco Mulackal was at fault but after closely examining the case, he figured out that the nun was a "troublemaker".

Noting that she felt the Catholic church was still doubting her over the argument as to why she allowed him to sexually abuse her multiple times, the nun said she had tremendous fear and shame to bring this out into the open.

"Being a religious sister who is denied justice from the congregation authority and from the Church authority of Latin and Syro Malabar Churches, once again I implore your mercy on my situation. The bishop should be punished", Sharma further said.

The nun's family, along with five of her mates from the convent at Kottayam, where she was repeatedly raped and abused, are meanwhile on a hunger strike demanding the bishop's arrest. They also demanded the immediate arrest of the accused Bishop.

In June, a nun had complained that Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal had raped her 13 times, over a period of two years from May 2014.

She alleged that the bishop and his close associates "are using the wealth of the diocese to divert" the course of the police investigation.

The accused had allegedly threatened to disclose the victim's confessions, made in the church.

"We are fighting for our sister".

"We are not getting justice from the police, church authorities and the government".

"It appears she enjoyed it 12 times over but suddenly found it was rape the 13th time", George was quoted by news agencies as saying.

In her lengthy letter, the nun also sought to explain her silence before coming out against the bishop and said she had "tremendous fear and shame" and wondered why the church was "closing its eyes to the truth". "Nuns showed courage in making such allegations against someone who is head of the organisation", she said. They (police) are studying it as to who is speaking truth.

Across Kerala, anger is rising that law enforcement has yet to arrest the bishop, despite multiple accounts against him.

"It is unfortunate that the Church has not initiated any measures against Bishop Franco, though the police have registered an FIR [first information report] and interrogated him", said Joseph Varghese, joint secretary of Kerala Catholic Church Reformation Movement.

He reportedly testified that the local police force will soon be busy with the impeding Sabarimala season and the inter-state nature of the case will require more dedicated investigation.

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