Priest Parasite?: Nuns take on the streets with hunger strike demanding for justice
KOTTAYAM/KOCHI: On the 8th of September a Kottayam-based nun had written to the ambassador of the Pope in India pleading for a "speedy enquiry" to be conducted. She accused Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal of raping her and being a serial offender.
"Bishop Franco always had an eagle's eye on a few other MJ (Missionaries of Jesus) sisters as well. Whichever sister Bishop Franco felt attraction to, he tried to put them in his trap by force or taking advantage of their weaknesses,” the nun writes.
She also stated in the letter that she discreetly hinted to her Superior General and her counsellors that the bishop was taking many disciplinary actions against her “just because I resisted to lie down with him. As they failed to understand even the seriousness of these words, I could not tell them more than this”. She also alleged that the Bishop Franco was trying to manipulate the investigation with false information, money, political power and support from other ecclesiastical authorities.
Facing increasing stigma and persecution from the local church authorities ever since she had accused the bishop of raping her, the nun writes, that the “Bishop Franco be removed from his responsibilities”.
In the letter written to the Apostolic Nuncio Giambattista Diquattro, the nun wondered whether the “Catholic Church has concern only for bishops and priests. We would like to know if is there any provision in Canon Law for justice for nuns and women?” she also claimed that those who are supporting her in her trauma are being virtually ostracised, including the denial of Holy Mass at her convent in Kuravilangad, the letter says that “the silence on the part of the Church is leading me to further humiliation and character assassination”. She asked whether “Church authorities can give back what I have lost”.
The letter to the ambassador comes even as public support for the aggrieved nun is growing. On the fourth day the hunger strike and public protest in Kochi by several nuns demanding Bishop Franco’s arrest took place.
In her letter, the nun said she “had tremendous fear and shame to bring this out into the open. I feared suppression of the congregation and threats to my family members”. Probe will expose nun, says bishop Jalandhar diocese Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who has been accused of rape by a nun, said the allegation was a pressure tactic sponsored by anti-Church groups and claimed it had damaged his reputation. “Some damage has been caused to the reputation of the Church, and mine, by the allegations and the media trial. But once my name is cleared, it would be restored,” he told a source Jalandhar. “The complainant aimed her anger at me as I just gave a go-ahead for an inquiry in a complaint of moral turpitude against her.”