Vatican not rushing to act against nun-rape accused bishop

The Vatican is not rushing to act against an Indian bishop whom a nun has accused of rape.

The unidentified nun, who is a member of the Missionaries of Jesus, laid a complaint with the police at the end of June of being raped in May 2014.

She says Bishop Franco Mulakkal also sexually abused her many times over the following two years.

The nun alleges that the bishop harassed her when she resisted sexual abuse. She and her family claim that Church authorities have ignored their complaints.

Mulakkal claims the nun’s accusation arose only after Church authorities began disciplinary action following allegations that she was having sexual relations with her cousin’s husband.

The Police team probing the alleged rape says it will take action in the case “after they are fully convinced.”

Meanwhile, although Catholic and other leaders have urged that Mulakkal be removed from his position, the Catholic Bishops Conference of India and the Apostolic Nuncio are watching the situation.

“At present, the Vatican is not planning any action against the bishop. Normally, the Vatican does not interfere with the law and order of a foreign country,” a priest from Punjab says.

“We have received information that the Vatican Nuncio has already informed the Vatican about the issue. The Vatican is also watching whether the state or central government in India has taken any action against the bishop.”

A group of nuns, priests and lay people has also written to the Vatican about the nun’s allegations, urging it to provide justice to the women.

The group sent a copy of the letter to Vatican Nuncio Giambattista Diquattro and to Catholic Bishop Conference of India (CBCI) president Cardinal Oswald Graciou.

It asked Diquattro to “advise Pope Francis to relieve the bishop concerned of his pastoral responsibilities so that the Church is seen to actually practise the zero tolerance it professes to observe in abuse cases.”

The groups says allowing Mulakkal to continue in his position as bishop of Jalandhar “will erode the faith of the people in the credibility of the Church to implement its policy of zero tolerance and act justly in abuse matters.”


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