I know you might find my title a bit repulsive but it is what I feel right now – repulsed and disgusted about the horrific details about the sexual acts committed by Bishop Franco Mulakkal on the 44-yr old nun. He committed these acts not once but 13-times between 2014-2016.
Bishop Franco Mulakkal is reportedly the first Bishop in India to be arrested for rape.
The accused Bishop not only raped but he threatened, slandered and spread false stories about the integrity of the victim Nun.
Even now after being arrested, the Bishop is feigning ill-health due to fear of going into police custody.
His bail has been denied and he has been ordered into police custody till September 24th this month.
In its remand report presented in court the Kerala Crime branch details the facts of the crime:
- Mulakkal came to the convent with the intention of sexually assaulting the nun and on 5 May, 2014, he illegally confined her in Room 20 of the guest house at around 10.48 pm and “subjected her to unnatural sexual assault.”
- The accused threatened the nun with dire consequences if she ever revealed the incident. “He raped her the next day (6 May, 2014) as well. Between 2014-2016, the victim was subjected to rape and unnatural sex 13 times in the same room,” the remand report stated.
The now arrested Bishop raped and violated through unnatural sex (sodomised) the Nun 13-times in two years, whenever he got the opportunity too.
Sources close to the Nun told GoaChronicle.com that he was savage, vicious and drunk on power.
The Kerala Police also revealed that two more Nuns from the Missionaries of Jesus congregation to which the victim nun belonged too, also in their statements revealed the sexual harassing nature of the Bishop. On several occasion of the nun has stated in her statement, that the Bishop would want to hug her and touch her inappropriately.
When the victim nun reached a point of complete frustration and felt that she had to fight back because she was afraid that some other nuns could also become victims of his sexual predator nature; she decided to raise the matter within the Church.
In her complaint letter to the Catholic Church and Vatican, the victim nun describes her ordeal. But even Archbishop Anil Couto asked her to personally write a letter to the Vatican Representative in India (Apostolic Nuncio) but failed to take cognisance of her mental agony and struggle. He did not act on her complaint.
The Bishop using all his power filed cases against the Nun and another nun supporting her in Jalandhar, Punjab where this Nun has never been too. So much so that ASI Amrik Singh of the Jalandhar Police called her on the phone and started questioning her about her whereabouts and telling her that Fr Peter – an associate of Bishop Franco Mulakkal had filed a complaint against her. Besides Punjab, he also filed cases against the Nun in Kerala.
In fact the Bishop also targeted the brother of the Nun using the Jalandhar Police. The Jalandhar Police compelled one Sijoy from the parish of the Nun to write against her brother that he plans to murder Bishop Franco. Sijoy was called to Jalandhar but later confessed the truth to the police.
In her letter to the Vatican, the victim Nun clearly talks about the double standards in the Church, where the Church authorities told her that they cannot intervene in her case because the religious congregation she belonged to came under the Latin rite, not directly under the Catholic Church of India, even though linked to the Vatican.
She openly asked the Vatican, will the Church authority – who stand to protect Bishop Franco and safeguard the dignity of the Church by hiding his wickedness – be able to give back the dignity I lost. She continues to say, “I had tremendous fear and shame to bring this out in the open. I feared suppression of the congregation and threats to my family members.
Here are some of the contradictions that led to the arrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal:
The nun in-charge of the Thodupuzha convent and the driver of Bishop Franco Mulakkal in their statements to the investigation officers expose the contradiction and lies in the version of the incident given by the accused Bishop of the Archdiocese of Jalandhar to the Kerala Police.
In the Bishop’s statement to the Kerala police which was recorded on August 13th in Jalandhar, Bishop Franco Mulakkal told the investigation officers that he not present at a guest house attached the St Francis Mission Home – the victim nun’s convent at Kuravilangad in Kottayam on May 5, 2014. This is the alleged place and date on where and when the victim nun in her statement stated that she was raped for the first time.
However, when the Kerala police cross-verified the claims of the Bishop, it learned that the accused had lied about his whereabouts. This lie was exposed when the police questioned the nun-in-charge at the Thodupuzha convent. During the interrogations she revealed that the Bishop had not arrived at the convent on May 5, 2014. The nun-in-charge did not come forth with the truth at first. But on persistent questioning she broke down and told the investigations officers that her first statement was false and that she lied because she was instructed too by the accused Bishop. The bishop, she mentions in her statement to the Kerala police, asked her to state that he was at Thodupuzha convent.
Interestingly, while the Bishop claims he was at the Thodupuzha convent, the Visitor’s Register Diary in possession of the police does not show any entry of the Bishop at the Thodupuzha convent on that day.
In another shocking information that the police found during their investigations, from the driver of the accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal was that, the driver had dropped the accused Bishop at the St Francis Mission Home – a convent of the Missionaries of Jesus – to which the victim nun belonged at Kuravilangad on May 5, 2014.
I have only two questions for the Catholic Church in India: Why was the plea for help from the Nun not heard? Why has the Catholic Church not condemned the act of the Bishop (even though they have temporarily relieved him of his pastoral duties).
The people protesting against this heinous acts of the Bishop were Christians – nuns, priests and laity from Kerala – who took to the streets and fasted in their protest for justice.
As GoaChronicle.com team we had set out to find the truth, we did find that the Nun was being victimised and the police pressurised to arrest the accused Bishop. Therefore we started the social media campaign on Twitter #ArrestBishopFranco. His arrest is the first step in the fight for justice for the Nun, we must ensure justice and #JailBishopFranco must now become a reality.
Our prayers with the Nun, her family and supporters!