A day after Kerala high court sought an action-taken report from the police on the probe into the alleged rape of a nun by Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal, the nun has written a letter to Vatican representative while the bishop and her congregation launched an attack on her.
The nun has rushed a letter to the Vatican representative in India seeking justice. In her letter, dated September 8, the nun alleged the bishop coveted nuns. “Whichever sister Franco felt attracted to, he tried to put them in trap by force or taking advantage of their weakness,” the letter
The bishop told reporters on Tuesday that allegations against him were false and some people were running a propaganda against him. “Protests in Kerala are pressure tactics on investigating agency. When Kerala police did not find anything wrong against me then some people started protests to put pressure on the police,” he said.
“Kottayam police had stated that there wasn’t sufficient evidence for my arrest, which led to these protests there,” he said. “If Kerala Police call me there, I will go there,” he said.
Five nuns from the victim’s congregation, Missionaries of Jesus, had held a street protest in solidarity with the victim and alleged the police were going slow in the case.
The Missionaries of Jesus, however, on Tuesday said they would implead in the petition under the consideration of the high court. The statement from the congregation, which reports directly to the bishop, said the bishop “was being crucified” for having issued an order to probe the alleged affair the nun had with her relative’s husband.
“If we don’t react against the conspiracy, we would be answerable before the God. The political and cultural leaders are issuing statements without knowing the truth,’’ said the statement from spokesperson Amala M J.
The victim had lodged complaint against the bishop in June this year accusing him of sexually assaulting her over a period of two years since 2014.
She said though Mulakkal had sexually abused her several times, she could not reveal to her superiors the full story.
“I only told them that the bishop is taking disciplinary action through them just because I resisted to lie down with him. I could not tell them more than this as they failed to understand the seriousness of the issue.’’
But the bishop questioned the charge.
“She alleged that it (rape) had happened with her 13 times, how can it (rape) happen 13 times with a mature woman as she was not a small girl” .
The bishop said the nun was taking revenge against him for recommending action against her. “I had recommended an action against her in November 2016 as we had some complaints against her, and in Chruch’s policy we cannot cover up and one has to face the action for going against the church’s policy,” said the bishop.
Missionaries of Jesus spokesperson’s statement said: “A probe had revealed substance in the allegations against the nun and the same finding had irritated her. The probe team had found that the person from Delhi had stayed at the convent in Kottayam for four days. This had blunted all arguments of the nun,” said the congregation spokesman.
The statement said the complainant nun had given an application to quit the order. However, after four days, she withdrew the application. It should be probed into who all had visited the convent in that four days, it said.
The bishop said: “Someone might have suggested to her that if she will file an allegations against me then the complaint against her would be withdrawn by the Church,” he said.
When asked about the other charges leveled against him, he said, “None of the allegations have been proved yet. I spent 9 hours with Kerala police. They questioned me on each and everything, and I replied to every question in detail, including evidences available with me to prove my side,” said Bishop.
He said he was not thinking of quitting his post as he had done no wrong.