TAINTED BISHOP FI­NALLY BENDS

Bishop Franco Mu­lakkal ap­points his im­me­di­ate ju­nior to ad­min­is­ter the Dio­cese; he will ap­pear be­fore Ker­ala po­lice on Sept 19 for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion

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Jalandhar Bishop, ac­cused of rape by nun, re­lin­quishes charge; Vat­i­can forms probe panel

KOT­TAYAM: Bishop Franco Mu­lakkal, fac­ing probe over al­le­ga­tions of rape by a nun, has handed over his ad­min­is­tra­tive re­spon­si­bil­ity of Jalandhar dio­cese to a se­nior priest.

“In my ab­sence Msgr Mathew Kokkan­dam will ad­min­is­ter the Dio­cese as in the nor­mal prac­tice when I am away from the Dio­cese,” Bishop Mu­lakkal said in a cir­cu­lar.

The cir­cu­lar was is­sued on Septem­ber 13, a day af­ter the Ker­ala Po­lice had asked him to ap­pear be­fore the in­ves­ti­gat­ing team on Septem­ber 19.

The de­ci­sion to sum­mon the cler­gy­man was taken af­ter a meet­ing chaired by Sakhare, In­spec­tor Gen­eral (Er­naku­lam range), which was also at­tended by Kot­tayam Dis­trict Su­per­in­ten­dent of Po­lice Harisankar and Vaikom Deputy Su­per­in­ten­dent of Po­lice K Sub­hash amid mount­ing pres­sure on po­lice to ini­ti­ate ac­tion against Mul­lakal.

In the cir­cu­lar, the bishop said there were “sev­eral con­tra­dic­tions” in the ev­i­dences col­lected against him by the po­lice prob­ing the case.

“I leave every­thing into the hand of God as I await the re­sult of the find­ings of the team prob­ing the al­le­ga­tion,” he said in it.

A copy of the cir­cu­lar was made avail­able to the me­dia.

The nun had re­cently sought ur­gent in­ter­ven­tion of the Vat­i­can for jus­tice and de­manded the bishop’s re­moval as the head of the Jalandhar dio­cese, ques­tion­ing why the church was “clos­ing its eyes to the truth” when she had mus­tered courage to make pub­lic her suf­fer­ing.

She alleged that Bishop Mu­lakkal was us­ing “po­lit­i­cal and money power” to “bury” the case against him.

‘I leave every­thing into the hand of God as I await the re­sult of the find­ings of the team prob­ing the al­le­ga­tion’ Bishop Franco Mu­lakkal

PIC/AFP

Chris­tian nuns and Mus­lim sup­port­ers protest out­side Kochi High Court de­mand­ing the ar­rest of Bishop Franco Mu­lakkal.

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