Church has warned Father Augustine Vattoly, who organised protests in solidarity with the nun who accused Bishop Franco of rape. As per reports, the Syro Malabar Church has prohibited him from organising and attending dharnas and warned him of action as per Church law. Father Vattoli is the convenor of the “Save Our Sisters”, a campaign seeking justice for the nun.
Father Vattoly received a letter from Major Archepady of Ernakulam-Angamaly which told him that such action by the priest will “seriously injure the good of the Church in public and will cause scandal among the faithful”. The letter was sent on 11th November, days before the protests were held outside state secretariat. The letter further accuses that Father Vattoly of inciting sedition and hatred against the Church authorities.
In December 2017, Father Vattoly along with others had complained about financial irregularities in the Syro Malabar Church, one of the prominent religious forces in Kerala.
However, according to reports, the Church is taking the action against Father Vattoly in a bid to silence other priests from questioning the leadership.
The Kerala nun rape case where the nun had accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal has been full of controversies. A Kerala nun had accused Bishop Franco of raping her multiple times over a period of two years. She had claimed that she had approached the Syro-Malabar Church authorities over the matter. However, no action was taken against the bishop.
When Bishop Franco was granted a conditional bail in October he had received a rousing welcome from his followers and supporters when he returned to Jalandhar. Just days after his return to Jalandhar, Father Kuriakose, who had given a statement to the police against Bishop Franco and stood in solidarity with the nuns was found dead under mysterious circumstances.