Jalandhar diocese Bishop Franco Mulakkal has refuted the rape accusation charges against him, saying that a “conspiracy” has been hatched by a group of people who are against the church. He also accused the nun of lying as he had ordered action against her in the past. “The nun is lying, made up the case against me because I had ordered action against her. Police have no evidence against me that’s why they have not arrested me,” said Mulakkal.
Reacting to the support to the complainant by other nuns, Mulakkal said that the people who are against the church are using the nuns against him. “I feel there are people who are against the church, they’re using these sisters. This is a conspiracy and several people are taking advantage of the situation, they are putting sisters at the forefront,” the bishop was quoted as saying by ANI.
Dismissing the charges against him, Mulakkal said: “Police questioned me for nine hours. They took her statement too and there were contradictions. They are studying it as to who’s speaking the truth. I’ve heard they’re (nuns) protesting. It’s their right to protest.”
The bishop also refused to step down from his post. “I will not step down because that is what those behind the allegations want, why should I play into their hands,” said Mulakkal.
In June, the nun from the Missionaries of Jesus made a police complaint against the congregation’s patron bishop Mulakkal, of raping her and subjecting her to unnatural sex on multiple occasions over two years since May 2014. A case was registered by the Kottayam police on June 28, and Mulakkal was questioned last month.
Meanwhile, the nun approached the Vatican, petitioning to the Vatican representative in India alleging that the clergyman was using “political and money power” to bury the case and sought his removal from the post. She alleged that by continuing in the position of Jalandhar diocese Bishop, Mulakkal and his close associates “are using the wealth of the diocese to divert” the course of the police investigation, PTI reported.
“They are arranging people to attack us and Bishop Franco is using his political power and money to get higher authorities of the investigation and the government to bury legal proceedings that I have filed against him. I beg the Church authorities to kindly make a speedy enquiry about this case and remove Bishop Franco from his responsibilities as the spiritual leader of the diocese,” the nun charged in her letter.