Franco Mulakkal: Kerala court clears bishop in nun’s rape

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Always denied any wrongdoing by Bishop Franco Mulakkal

In an unusual case, one of India’s oldest Christian congregations was shocked to hear that a Bishop had been accused of sexually assaulting a nun in 2014 and 2016.

Franco Mulakkal (54), was taken into custody in the south state of Kerala. He denied all allegations.

After the nun claimed that the Catholic Church ignored her concerns, the case led to widespread protests.

Temporarily the Vatican released Bishop Paul from his duties.

A Kerala trial court found him not guilty on Friday.

Kottayam Additional Ses Judge (ASJ), G Gopakumar stated that the prosecution had failed to prove the allegations against the accused.

Lawyers for the nun said that they will challenge the verdict at the highest court.

The legal team representing the bishop said that they had “shattered every evidence” against him.

“It’s a highly litigated case. This case is certain to go to the top court. It’s fine,” Raman Pillai who served as the defense team leader for Mr Mulakkal told BBC Hindi.

He was found not guilty by the court. Evidently, all evidence provided by prosecution witnesses was rejected. It is clear that the charges were false. He added that there was not rape.

Mulakkal was the Bishop of Jalandhar, in northern Punjab. His accuser is a member of the Missionaries of Jesus in Kerala, which forms part of the Jalandhar diocesan.

The bishop raped her thirteen times, she claimed. They happened in Kerala’s city of Kottayam.

  • Catholic Church: Sex and abuse
  • Vatican expels nun who ‘denies justice’

After petitioning the Vatican, she wrote an open letter in 2018 to its representative in Delhi. She claimed that it was her fourth correspondence to them.

This led to extraordinary protests by nuns, activists and others who rallied behind the woman.

Many other nuns also protesting against him accused both the Vatican and Kerala’s church officials of being blind to the allegations.

Many nuns claimed that they had been victimized for taking part in protests. This included disciplinary notices, transfer notices, and expulsion from their congregation.


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