Vatican accepts resignation of rape-accused Indian bishop

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Franco Mulakkal of India’s Jalandhar diocese more than a year after a lower court acquitted him of all charges of raping a nun.

“The letter of resignation I have written after prayerful reflection and consultation with my superiors was accepted by our dear Pope Francis today,” Mulakkal announced in a social media message on June 1.

The Vatican removed Mulakkal from the administrative responsibilities of the diocese based in northern Punjab state just before police arrested him in 2018 on charges of raping a nun.

The nun, a member of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation under the patronage of the bishop, accused him of raping her more than 13 times between 2014 and 2016 inside her convent in Kerala’s Kottayam district.

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