It did not take the courage of me to call out the evil of Bishop Franco Mulakkal. I was merely following my Dharma.
Bishop Franco is accused of raping and sodomizing a nun 13-times. He was arrested and then released on Interim bail.
He continues to use his personal power, political power, and Catholic Church power to whitewash his heinous sins.
The rape victim and other nuns who supported the raped nun in her fight for justice have been targets of a vicious and brutal campaign by some leaders and some followers of the Catholic Church. Even some of the priests who came out to protest for justice we threatened with strict disciplinary action by the Catholic Church.
No one answered to the failure of the senior Church leaders to act against the repeated complaints of the nun of her repeated sexual violations over a two-year period.
In her fight for the truth and justice, the nun went to the police. And for this fight, she continues to be considered to be a black sheep. She and those nuns who stood by her.
When I raised the issue up in GoaChronicle and then took it to national TV channels, I received calls from many well-meaning Christians but people blind in their faith in the Catholic Church as an institution that they could comprehend the plight of the rape victim.
A senior Church leader reasoned with me, stating that this is an issue for the Catholic Church and the Vatican to deal with. There will be a Vatican probe. We care for the nuns but we must also not embarrass our Church leaders by further making this issue a national headline. If Bishop Franco has indeed done anything wrong we must help him reform and pray for him to reform. Taking the issue out of the Church confines will leave a stain on the faith and its leaders; it will give an opportunity to people of other faiths to question the Christian faith and its leaders.
I looked at this senior Church leader with amazement. I asked him. Let’s for a moment imagine that this was not a priest but an MLA or an MP in a government institution and that MLA or MP was accused of rape. As a journalist what would my responsibility be? The senior Church leader replied, “You must report the matter and bring the truth out.” That is exactly what I am doing in the Bishop Franco case. He looked at me in distress. Knowing I would not relent.
Another Church representative who also appears on TV channel debates, confronted me, saying, “The nuns are liars. The nun was not raped. She was having an affair with the Bishop and now is blackmailing him for money. I have investigated the matter.”
The lies about the nuns, the intimidation to my family but most of all the questioning of my faith and my integrity by people who do not even know me or have the courage to seek the truth continued and still continues because I stood for the truth.
Such was the blind faith in the Catholic Church as a religious institution that some Christians on the release of Bishop Franco Mulakkal on bail, greeted him with garlands and petals. He got a ‘hero welcoming’ back home to his parish in Jalandhar. A hero’s welcome for raping and sodomizing a nun 13-times. That was his claim to fame.
About the nun, no one gave a damn because a spiritual leader can do no wrong.
Bishop Franco Mulakkal is a man of power and has the subtle backing of the machinery of the Catholic Church of India and the Vatican. Covering up sexual abuse cases in the Catholic Church globally appears to be an institutionalized guideline book. The standard operating procedures globally to the coverup are identical.
Justice will come in this case. It will take time. It will take pains. It will take prayers. But the truth will prevail.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is also a man of power. His power comes from his closeness to China, in particular, President Xi Jinping. Their political ideology and their craving for power make them friends with benefits.
Dr. Tedros’s past with the Tigray People Liberation Front, then as the Foreign Minister, and then Health Minister is as tainted as his present, in the role of Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
2.8 million innocent people have died under his watch as the Director-General of WHO.
This is the ineptitude of the Director-General of the WHO that he was conned by a 14-year old Ethiopian-origin girl living and studying in Australia when he was a foreign minister. The adolescent claimed that she won 20 million Australian dollars from the Australian government and the Rotary Club of Australia at a student competition held at her college in Melbourne. The girl wanted to donate the money to build schools in Ethiopia. The foreign minister Dr. Tedros, organized a press conference praising the girl for being an exemplary philanthropist. The truth however was embarrassing. The teenage girl never won any competition because neither did the Australian government nor the Rotary Club of Australia ever offer such prize money and neither did her college the Baden Powell College organize such a competition.
The ineptitude is evident even when Dr. Tedros and his entire team at the WHO believed a US-firm Surgisphere on its sudden decision to drop hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for the global study into COVID-19 treatments. This study was published in the Lancet. The WHO accepted the study in a matter of three days. The interesting part of the study is that it was written by a firm that had an employee who was a science fiction writer and another an adult content model. When the truth about the questionable firm and its study was brought to light, Dr. Tedros resumed the HCQ global study.
Dr. Tedros and the WHO have been making flip-flop after flip-flop on their guidance to global nations. First on the delay of seven days in declaring it a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Then came the categorizing COVID-19 as a global pandemic for which it took another six weeks after declaring it as a PHEIC.
Initially, the WHO stipulated a guideline for masks and who should be wearing the masks. After several weeks of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic across the world, it changes its stipulated guidelines to now recommend more wearing masks.
Then the WHO states recently that asymptomatic patients need no isolation because asymptomatic transmission of coronavirus is very rare.
Maria Van Kerkhove, Technical Lead on COVID-19, WHO Health Emergencies Programme had said in a press conference in Geneva recently that it seems to be very rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a second individual. Kerkhove continued her claim on Twitter. Following a serious backlash and questioning from concerned people across the world on this statement on asymptomatic patients, more so after the Harvard University criticized the scientists at the WHO, the global health organization decided to do another retraction on its view on asymptomatic patients like it did on the HCQ.
Harvard’s Global Health Institute said research shows people without COVID-19 symptoms are spreading the disease and that ‘the WHO is creating confusion by suggesting otherwise.’ The WHO’s comment was based on ‘evidence from member states that have not yet been shared with the scientific community.’
Dr. Tedros will be one of the speakers on World Health Day at ‘Changing Paradigms in a Pandemic World: How to regain trust? Health, Happiness & Ethics’ organized by the World Forum for Ethics in Business – an organization founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has struck me with immense disappointment.
I was told that Dr. Tedros is a speaker because he represents the institution of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
I was also told the WFEB will not change Dr. Tedros as the speaker.
Interestingly, I have been getting advice from people that have a lot of respect for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who have told me that ‘It is all a divine plan. Gurudev does not look at people like common men like you do. Gurudev is like the sun he shines on everyone. Gurudev will help him reform. Gurudev will bring out the positivity in him.”
Unfortunately, it took me back to the wonderful and downright blind faith rhetorics I received from Christians and Church leaders about Bishop Franco Mulakkal – reformation, spiritual path, Church knows best to deal with the issue, internal matter.
I respect Gurudev too. That does not change the truth.
My view is simple: Having Dr. Tedros as a speaker at WFEB 2021 on ‘Changing Paradigms in a Pandemic World’ is akin to having Bishop Franco Mulakkal as a speaker at a Vatican conference ‘Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church and How to Deal With It’. Accepting either of these under some glorified spiritual reformation theory is an insult to the 2.8 million innocent people who have died and an insult to the nun raped and sodomized.
The first step to reformation is acceptance of failure or guilt. Neither Dr. Tedros nor Bishop Franco Mulakkal will ever admit to their guilt. Right now they will use the good offices with institutions and spiritual leaders to whitewash their failures and derelictions of duties.
The families of 2.8 million will continue to fight for justice just as the nuns continue to fight because they cannot sleep at night living without justice while the rest of the world sleeps unbothered about their plight.