Kochi: Four nuns who stood in defiant support of the victim, also a nun, who accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal of rape have been issued transfer orders by the Catholic Church through the Missionaries of Jesus Mother Superior to return back to the convents they were previously assigned by the Church.
Sr Alphy Pallasseril, Sr Anupama Kelamangalathuveliyil, Sr Josephine Villoonnickal and Sr Ancitta Urumbil, held an indefinite strike near the Kerala High Court premises in Kochi last year demanding the arrest of the rape-accused bishop.
Only recently, the church had sent a warning to Sister Lucy Kalapura, who was at the forefront of protests against Mulakkal, for “attending channel discussions”, writing articles in “non-Christian newspapers” and “making false accusations” against the Catholic leadership.
Sr Anupama who has been vocal in her support to the victim has been asked orders to go back to Punjab, Sr Ancitta to Kannur, Kerala, Sr Alphy to Bihar and Sr Josephine to Jharkhand.
Bishop Franco Mulakkal is currently out on bail. He has been accused of raping a 44-year old nun 13-times between 2014 and 2016.
The Catholic Church has maintained a stoic silence on the accusations levelled by the nun and even did not extend any support to her. The Church however, continues to put a protective shield around the accused Bishop.
Bishop Franco Mulakkal is the first bishop accused of rape in India.