Kochi: Bishop Franco Mulakkal, a senior member of the Roman Catholic clergy and Bishop of Jalandhar Dioces was arrested Friday night over allegations of repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting a nun, police said. The 54-year old Franco Mulakkal was arrested by Kerala police after intense interrogation over the last three days. Bishop Mulakkal , arrested at 8 p and taken for medical examination, would be produced in a magitsrate court in Pala in Kottayam ditsrict tomorrow,
The nun had accused the clergyman of repeatedly raping a her between 2014 and 2016, a charge denied by him. The nun who has accused him belongs to the Missionaries of Jesus, a congregation in Kerala that is part of the Jalandhar diocese. She alleged that the assaults happened when he visited the convent where she lived in the ctiy of Kottayam, in Kerala. She has not spoken to the media but she petitioned the Vatican and wrote an open letter to the Pope’s representative in the Indian capital of Delhi earlier this month. She claimed that this was the fourth letter she had addressed to the Vatican.
The 44-year-old woman registered a police complaint in June, alleging that the Catholic Church had taken no action despite repeated appeals. It led to unprecedented protests by nuns who came out in support of her. The development came a day after the Vatican relieved him ‘temporarily’ of all pastoral responsibilities as the bishop of the Jalandhar diocese of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation to which the alleged victim also belongs.