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Kerala Nun Accusing Bishop Of Rape Reaches Out To Vatican, Bishop Denies Charges

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| September 12 , 2018 , 13:11 IST

A Kerala nun who has accused head of the Jalandhar diocese Bishop Franco Mulakkal of raping her and having unnatural sex with her 13 times from 2014 to 2016 has reached out to the Vatican for urgent intervention, in a letter that was released to the media on Tuesday.

Bishop Franco denied the charges and claimed that the nun levelled the charges him after he acted on the complaint of one of the nun's relatives woman who alleged that the nun was having a sexual relationship with her husband.

The Missionaries of Jesus Congregation, to which the nun belongs, came out in support of the Bishop, after conducting its own probe.

"Bishop Franco is being accused of rape for acting on a complaint filed by a nun's relative claiming she was having sexual relationship with complainant's husband. MJ Congregation, of which the nun is a member, plans to join the court case," the MJ Congregation said.

"Our probe found substance to allegations that the nun was in a relationship with complainant's husband. For nuns losing honour is like death. The victim was seen laughing with the bishop a day after when the rape was supposed to have happened," it added.

The nun, regarding why she waited for 2 years and after 13 incidences to lodge a complaint against the Bishop said that she had 'tremendous fear and shame' to bring the issue out into the open and also feared threats to her family members.

In her letter to the Vatican dated September 8, of which 21 copies have been sent to others, she accuses the Bishop of rape and having unnatural sex with her multiple times between 2014 and 2016 and that she has turned to the Church authorities for justice.

"They are arranging people to attack us and Bishop Franco is using his political power and money to get higher authorities of the investigation and the government to bury legal proceedings that I have filed against him," she charged.

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"Your Highness, I would like to ask: Will the Church authority -who stand to protect Bishop Franco and safeguard the dignity of the Church by hiding his wickedness- be able to give back what I have lost?" she asked in the letter to Giambattista Diquattro, the Vatican representative in India.

"I beg the Church authorities to kindly make a speedy enquiry about this case and remove Bishop Franco from his responsibilities as the spiritual leader of the diocese," the nun said.

Meanwhile, senior Kerala minister E P Jayarajan said that a very strong investigation is being carried out in the case.

"A very strong investigation is being carried out in the case. It is proceeding in the right direction. No accused would be allowed to escape the clutches of the law," he told reporters in Kannur.