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Bishop Franco Mulakkal resigns amidst acquittal being challenged in Kerala High Court

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Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who was the spiritual leader of the Diocese of Jalandhar, has now resigned from his role, and his resignation has been accepted by Pope Francis. Bishop Mulakkal was accused of rape by a nun, but was subsequently acquitted by a Kerala court. After he has stepped down, he will now serve as Bishop Emeritus. Announcing his resignation through a video message, Franco said, “The Holy Father Pope Francis has accepted my letter of resignation as Jalandhar Bishop”.

He added that he had written the letter after detailed discussions with his superiors, and further stated, “I thank all those who stood by me and prayed for me as I went through a turbulent period over the last few years”.

In an official statement, the Apostolic Nunciature of India, representing Pope Francis in India, stated that it was Mulakkal who requested the resignation, and not the Vatican. It was clarified that the resignation was not a disciplinary action imposed on him, but this decision was taken by him on his own accord, which was made for the well-being of the Diocese, which is in need of a new Bishop. On the contrary, some sources are of the opinion that it is the Vatican which had asked Mulakkal to step aside.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal resigns amidst acquittal being challenged in Kerala High Court -

It was back in June 2018 that a nun had filed a complaint with the police against Bishop Mulakkal, accusing him of sexually assaulting her during his visits to Kerala between the years 2014 and 2016. As a result, he was arrested in September 2018 by the Kottayam police. Consequently, he was removed from his position in the Jalandhar Diocese. But subsequently, was acquitted by the Kottayam District Additional Sessions Court.

The state has now appealed to the Kerala High Court against the acquittal. However, Mulakkal has raised objections on the court’s consideration of the appeal.

Sonakshi Datta
Sonakshi Datta
Journalist who wants to cover the truth which others look the other way from.

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