Wolves in sheep clothing

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 9/12/2018 10:57:15 AM IST

 Since June 29,2018 the shocking story of a nun who was raped since 2014 by Franco Mulakkal, present bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar in Punjab, continues to hog the media headlines. The nun is currently posted in Kottayam district of Kerala. She filed the complaint to the Kottayam SP on June 29 in which she has alleged that the bishop sexually abused her multiple times. The Bishop has been accused of rape and unnatural sex with the complainant multiple times between 2014 and 2016. In her complaint filed at Kuravilangad Police Station, the rape survivor had alleged that she had received death threats from unknown people two months ago. In her statement, the survivor also was alleged that the bishop confined the nun to a guest room in St Francis Mission Home in Kuravilangad in Kottayam district of Kerala. The Bishop is certainly a very influential/powerful man since complaints from the victim to the higher echelons of the Catholic church in India and also the Vatican have elicited no response. In a bizarre twist, instead of demanding an impartial probe or even asking the accused Bishop to step down till he is absolved, an Independent MLA of the state, P.C.George instead, called the nun a “prostitute”. The MLA also added insult to injury when he said “No one has doubt that the nun is a prostitute. Twelve times she enjoyed it and the 13th time it is rape? Why didn’t she complain the first time?”. Another shocker also came from the congregation of the accused called Missionaries of Jesus Congregation. They defended the Bishop as “an innocent soul” who cannot be crucified for such allegations. Five nuns, who are members of the Joint Christian Council are backing the accuser and are demanding justice. They have been sitting on a protest in Kochi since several days and have said that they will also hold demonstrations in the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram. The other group backing a fair probe includes the Kerala Catholic Church Reformation Movement, which is holding indefinite protest in Kochi, seeking justice for the nun. Just because a large number of nuns come deprived backgrounds and have forsaken family and the world, to take the vows of abstinence to embrace the order, does not mean they can be treated like handmaidens, free to be exploited. The kin of the victim claimed they were offered Rs 5 crore and some land to withdraw the case against the Bishop. The nun’s brother claimed that the Bishop’s brother also offered the family 10 acres of land. The family also claimed they started receiving death threats after they refused to drop the case. The Catholic church has been stung by a series of rape and abuse accusations in various parts of the world. Pope Francis acknowledged them as a failure on the part of the church. It is in the best interest of the Catholic Church and its believers, to find out how and why such offences recur before making a serious effort to clean the putrefaction that may have set in. No one is above the law, least of all those who proclaim they are “men of God” but who need to know they are equally accountable for their human ‘sins of omission or commission’ 

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