Kerala nun case: Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal hands over charge to deputy

Sep 16, 2018, 07:53 IST | Agencies

Bishop Franco Mulakkal appoints his immediate junior to administer the Diocese; he will appear before Kerala police on Sept 19 for further investigation

Kerala nun case: Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal hands over charge to deputy
Christian nuns and Muslim supporters protest outside Kochi High Court demanding the arrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal. Pic/AFP

Bishop Franco Mulakkal, facing probe over allegations of rape by a nun, has handed over his administrative responsibility of Jalandhar diocese to a senior priest.

"In my absence Msgr Mathew Kokkandam will administer the Diocese as in the normal practice when I am away from the Diocese," Bishop Mulakkal said in a circular. The circular was issued on September 13, a day after the Kerala Police had asked him to appear before the investigating team on September 19.

The decision to summon the clergyman was taken after a meeting chaired by Sakhare, Inspector General (Ernakulam range), which was also attended by Kottayam District Superintendent of Police Harisankar and Vaikom Deputy Superintendent of Police K Subhash amid mounting pressure on police to initiate action against Mullakal.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal
Bishop Franco Mulakkal

In the circular, the bishop said there were "several contradictions" in the evidences collected against him by the police probing the case. "I leave everything into the hand of God as I await the result of the findings of the team probing the allegation," he said in it. A copy of the circular was made available to the media.

The nun had recently sought urgent intervention of the Vatican for justice and demanded the bishop's removal as the head of the Jalandhar diocese, questioning why the church was "closing its eyes to the truth" when she had mustered courage to make public her suffering. She alleged that Bishop Mulakkal was using "political and money power" to "bury" the case against him.

Vatican forms probe panel
New Delhi: The Vatican, the highest seat of authority in the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy, has formed a one-member panel to probe the rape allegations against Franco Mulakkal. Sources said that a church representative from India is in the Vatican to discuss the issue of a rape charge against the Bishop by a Kerala-based nun. The development followed after the nun wrote to the Apostolic Nunciature — the representative of the Pope in India — describing the ordeal she allegedly went through at the hands of Bishop Mulakkal.

Also Read: Kerala MLA Gives A Mealy-Mouthed Apology Over Abusive Attack On Nun

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