Indian Bishop Faces Charges For Rape

Kerala nun rape case Chargesheet filed against former Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal

Kerala nun rape case Chargesheet filed against former Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal

The case against the bishop was registered by the Kuravilangad police on June 28, 2018, after the nun met the Kottayam police chief and lodged a complaint against the bishop, stating that he raped her multiple times between May 2014 and September 2016.

Bishop Mulakkal has also been charged under laws against intimidation, illegal confinement and unnatural intercourse, The New York Times reports, and he faces at least 10 years in prison if found guilty. Retired Auxiliary Bishop Agnelo Gracias of Mumbai, Jalandhar Diocese's administrator, supported their position, but the Kerala Catholic Bishops' Council criticised the nuns for stirring up enemies of the church, reported Global Sisters Report.

The victim filed a formal complaint in June previous year, but police only started formal questioning in September after fury over the case mounted.

Jalandhar: As charge-sheet against bishop Franco Mulakkal was filed in a rape case in a Kerala court, special prayers were held in all the churches of the diocese.

Mulakkal, who faces a maximum punishment of life imprisonment, has rejected the charges.

He was released from a sub-jail in Pala on October 16 after the Kerala high court granted him bail.

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According to The Times Of India, the case which gained national and worldwide importance previous year has a total of 83 witnesses including Major Archbishop Cardinal George Alencherry, Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt of Pala diocese, as many as 25 nuns and 11 priests among others.

In a rare public show of dissent within the church five nuns staged days of protests with dozens of supporters to force authorities to take the allegations seriously.

Mulakkal was arrested in September last amid mounting public outrage over allegations of repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting the nun. "We had no-one on our side to fight for us, but Christ".

"Other than truth as our weapon, we never had anything else on our side".

She told how repeated approaches to senior church officials were ignored. "What else could we do?"

Christians comprise about 2.3% of India's 1.3 billion population, according to census data, and more than 70% of them are Catholic.

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