Kerala nun abused by Jalandhar Bishop writes to Vatican seeking justice

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Weeks after accusing a Roman Catholic Bishop of raping her, a nun has sought urgent intervention of the Vatican for justice and demanded his removal as the head of the Jalandhar diocese, questioning why the Church was "closing its eyes to the truth" when she mustered courage to make public her sufferings. "We will not end the protest until action against the bishop is taken".

On a letter the nun has written to the Vatican demanding justice, Mulakkal said how the Vatican being a different nation-state intervene in police investigations.

Members of various Catholic reformation organisations took to the streets in Kerala on Saturday to protest the alleged laxity in the probe into a complaint of rape filed by a nun against Bishop Mulakkal. I have seen her being denounced by the church. As they failed to understand even the seriousness of these words, I could not tell them more than this. The nuns and their families are facing mental trauma and continuous pressure from the church, but they are keen to fight for their fellow sister.

The district police chief is known to have pointed out that extensive evidence collation and investigation were required in the case. George Vattukulam has asked for a court order for conducting a fair investigation and to book the culprits within a stipulated time under the monitoring of the high court.

George Joseph, the president of the Joint Christian Council, one of the groups organising the protests, accused senior politicians and church leaders of interfering in the case.

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The incident came to light after a case was registered in June against four priests of Malankara Orthodox Church for alleged sexual assault.

"Though Bishop Franco had sexually abused me several times, I could not reveal the full story to my Superior General or to her Councilors". The accused allegedly threatened to disclose the victim's confessions made in church.

The bench of the Kerala High Court also wanted to know whether the Bishop was questioned by the team in Jalandhar when it went there about a month ago and directed the police to inform it of the steps taken by it after that.

For the unversed, the nun has accused Bishop Franco of raping and having unnatural sex with her multiple times between 2014 and 2016.

The case in the southern state of Kerala has attracted worldwide attention, as it is extremely rare for nuns to publicly accuse a superior of wrongdoing, let alone sexual assault. "A very strong investigation is being carried out in the case".

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