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

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - HTPUNJAB - Press Trust of In­dia • let­ter­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

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.

FILE PHOTO

• The protest­ing nuns at Ku­rav­i­lan­gad in Ker­ala.

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