Jalandhar bishop accused of raping Kerala nun hands over administrative charge
Catholic nuns in Kerala’s Kochi city have been on a protest for the last eight days demanding the arrest of Bishop.india Updated: Sep 15, 2018 21:57 IST
Bishop Franco Mulakkal on Saturday named a senior priest to administer the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, a day after he received summons from the Kerala police to join an investigation into a 43-year-old nun’s allegations that he raped her multiple times between 2014 and 2016.
Mulakkal appointed his deputy, vicar general Mathew Kokkandam, to administer the Diocese, as is the normal practice, before he travels to Kerala .
“I leave everything into the hand of God as I await the result of the findings of the probe into the allegation. In my absence, Msgr. Matthew Kokkandam will administer the Diocese as the normal practise when I am away,” Mulakkal said.
On Friday, the 54-year-old Bishop received official summons served by the Jalandhar police on behalf of Vaikom deputy superintendent of police K Subhash, who is heading the investigation. Jalandhar commissioner of police Praveen Sinha received the summons from Kerala police to serve the papers on the Bishop, asking him to appear before the investigators on September 19.
A representative of the Bishop said he hadn’t resigned. “He has only appointed Father Matthew to administer the functioning of the Diocese in his absence as the Bishop is going to join the investigation in Kerala.” The nun has alleged that Mulakkal first assaulted her after summoning her on the pretext of a discussion in 2014. On Saturday, a group of Catholic priests extended support to the protest by Catholic reformation organisations and the survivor’s colleagues seeking justice for her. The group , belonging to the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese of the Syro-Malabar Church, visited the venue and assured support. “We are not here to judge anyone. We wish to see the Church delivering justice to the nuns,” a priest said.
(With PTI inputs)
First Published: Sep 15, 2018 13:12 IST