In a fresh statement, Missionaries of Jesus has attempted to slander the nun from Kerala who has accused Bishop Franco of raping her. The statement claims that the nun had made two demands and when they were not met, she made false allegations against the Bishop in an effort to malign his character and the Church.
#StateVsNun: Missionaries of Jesus releases a press release slandering the rape survivor. It claims that she had made 2 demands & when they were not met, she made false allegations against the Bishop@roypranesh takes you through the press release pic.twitter.com/YDXriUCiTH
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) September 12, 2018
As per the statement, the alleged rape victim approached the Mother Superior with two demands. According to the statement, she demanded that she be given free land in Bihar and be made Mother General. When these demands were rejected, she wanted to leave the convent and get married.
As per reports, the organization has resorted to slandering the alleged rape victim even as an investigation into the matter is underway. A statement claims, “For us sisters, losing our chastity is equivalent to death. The nun who claims that the Bishop had raped her was seen laughing along with the Bishop in a function, the very next day. It is unbelievable that someone could go to another person’s room without anyone noticing as it is a convent and it houses a number of nuns. Also, the congregation’s rules do not allow nuns from visiting anyone alone in the convent. If they have to visit someone, they have to ensure someone accompanies them.”
The statement also claims that the nun was in an illicit relationship with one of her relatives and that Bishop Franco was being accused of rape for acting on a complaint filed by a woman alleging that she was in an illicit relationship with her husband. The statement reads, “Bishop Franco is being accused of rape for acting on a complaint filed by a nun’s relative claiming she was having a sexual relationship with complainant’s husband. Our probe found substance to allegations that the nun was in a relationship with complainant’s husband.”
The Church body also slammed Kerala Police for supporting the nun and deemed the accusations a conspiracy, “Kerala police is supporting the nun. That’s why such allegations are being levelled against the Bishop. The nun is spreading utter lies. If we don’t protest against this conspiracy, we will have to face the consequences from God.” The statement also claimed that “eminent political and cultural personalities making false statements without knowing the truth.”
It is pertinent to mention that the alleged victim has written to the Vatican seeking justice. In the letter, she claimed that the Bishop was using his money, political power and support from other ecclesiastical authorities to manipulate the investigation. But given the history of the Vatican, which has a track record of covering up sexual abuse by its clergy, it is unclear whether the Vatican will be inclined to turn the tides for her. It is also pertinent to mention that Pope Francis himself has been accused by an Archbishop of elevating a sexual predator to a position of power despite being aware of the sexual abuse allegations against him.
We had reported that in an earlier statement, Missionaries of Jesus had come out in support of the rape accused and deemed him an “innocent soul”. We had also reported that Kerala MLA PC George had called the alleged rape victim a ‘prostitute’.