Mulakkal interfering in Jalandhar diocese, say protesting nuns
It comes a day after the diocese countered an e-mail to nun that they will not be ousted from the convent
MULAKKAL WAS ARRESTED LAST YEAR AFTER ALLEGATIONS BY A NUN THAT HE RAPED HER BETWEEN 2014 AND 2016
Rape-accused former bishop Franco Mulakkal, who was relieved of his pastoral responsibilities by Pope Francis, still interferes with the administrative matters of the Jalandhar diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, nuns protesting against him alleged here on Sunday.
Mulakkal, a senior member of the Roman Catholic clergy, was arrested last year following allegations by a nun that he repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted her at the Kuravilangad convent between 2014 and 2016, a charge denied by him.
“We believe that bishop Angelo is the apostolic administrator of Jalandhar diocese. But when we see the kind of letters (being issued by the diocese PRO and Missionaries of Jesus congregation head), we doubt whether bishop Mulakkal still wields power in the diocese,” Sister Anupama, a representative of the protesting nuns, told reporters at Kuravilangad near here.
Their statement comes a day after Jalandhar diocese PRO Father Peter Kavumpuram, who is allegedly close to bishop Mulakkal, issued a clarification statement countering an e-mail issued to nuns by its apostolic administrator bishop Angelo Ruffino Gracias.
In his e-mail, bishop Angelo had assured the five nuns, who are staying with the rape survivor nun, that “there will be no move from the diocese of Jalandhar to oust” them from the Kuravilangad convent in Kottayam district as long as they are needed for the court case.
The bishop wrote to the nuns after they complained to him against the head of their congregation, Missionaries of Jesus under the Jalandhar diocese, for issuing transfer orders to four of them who took part in the protest demanding the arrest of Mulakkal.
Another nun, Sister Neena Rose, who is staying with the rape survivor, was asked to report to the Missionaries of Jesus congregation’s Jalandhar convent and meet its superior general Regina Kandamthottu on January 26.
Kavumpuram, issued a clarification countering bishop Angelo hours after his e-mail communication was made public, saying even though the congregation of Missionaries of Jesus is of diocesan right, the internal running of the congregation is left to the superior general and her council.
“The bishop of Jalandhar does not normally interfere unless the overall interests of the church demand such interference. By this clarification, the apostolic administrator has not interfered in the internal affairs of this congregation, therefore the order to return to their rightful communities by the mother general is not cancelled but stands,” the statement quoting Fr Kavumpuram had said.
The protesting nuns stay with the survivor nun in the convent in Kuravilangad. Talking to media on Sunday, Sister Anupama rejected the clarification statement issued by Kavumpuram, saying they would not move out of the convent in Kuravilangad. “Clarification statement (issued by Kavumpuram) is not acceptable for us. We will continue to stay in this convent till the case is over,” she said.
The congregation of nuns -Missionaries of Jesus -- had directed the nuns to join their previously-assigned convents, according to the transfer orders issued between March and May last year.The nuns Alphy, Anupama, Josephine and Ancitta were served notice by the superior general.
• The protesting nuns at Kuravilangad in Kerala.