Nuns transfer revoked, diocese orders stay
JALANDHAR: Hours after the apostolic administrator of Jalandhar diocese bishop Angelo Gracias sent an email to five protesting nuns revoking their transfer, the Jalandhar diocese issued a statement on Saturday evening saying the orders have not been cancelled.
PROTESTING NUNS WILL NOW HAVE TO MOVE TO THEIR COMMUNITIES FROM WHERE THEY HAD WALKED OUT WITHOUT SUPERIORS’ PERMISSION
JALANDHAR/KOTTAYAM: Hours after the apostolic administrator of Jalandhar diocese bishop Angelo Gracias sent an email to five protesting nuns revoking their transfer, the Jalandhar diocese issued a statement on Saturday evening saying the orders have not been cancelled.
The five nuns are demanding the arrest of former Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal accused of sexually assaulting a 43-year-old nun. In her complaint to the police in June last year, the nun, also a mother superior, alleged that Mulakkal raped her 13 times between 2014 and 2016.
In the email, bishop Angelo had assured the nuns that “there will be no move from the diocese of Jalandhar to oust them” from Kuravilangad convent in Kottayam district as long as they are needed for the court case, she said.
The five nuns joined a convention called “Save Our Sisters” – an outfit floated during the protests last year – in Kottayam where Sister Anupama confirmed receiving the email. She expressed gratitude to all who supported their cause and said they would take the case to its logical end.
Later in the evening, the Jalandhar diocese’s PRO, Father Peter Kavumpuram, issued a clarification saying: “The church has no intention to scuttle the case. The church in Jalandhar and the universal church want the truth to emerge. The judiciary alone is competent to pronounce on guilt or innocence of anyone. The congregation of the Missionaries of Jesus did not order the transfer of five sisters, but it was rather an invitation to them to return to their rightful communities from which they had walked out without any permission from their superiors. The order to return to their rightful communities by the mother general is not cancelled but stands.”
Last month, the head of their congregation had issued transfer orders to four nuns who took part in the protest against Mulakkal and asked them to join their previously assigned convents. Another nun, Sister Neena Rose, who is staying with the complainant nun, was asked to report to the Jalandhar convent on January 26. The four nuns had written to Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan seeking his intervention to ensure that their transfer orders were not affected till the trial of the case was over.
Mulakkal was arrested on September 21, 2018, on rape charges after the nuns joined a public protest in Kochi that forced the police to take strong action against him.
■ Nuns hold placards during a protest in Kochi, demanding justice after an alleged sexual assault on a nun.