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Nuns supporting rape accused Bishop Franco to take charge of convent where the victim resides

Bishop Franco was granted conditional bail in October. The church had welcomed the rape accused bishop back with a grand ceremony.

The Syro-Malabar Church, which had given an arousing welcome to rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal soon after his release, has once again stoked controversy after it decided to award prominent posts to those nuns who supported rape accused Bishop Franco, reported The News Minute.

According to the report, three nuns from the Jalandhar Diocese of the church who had stood behind the rape accused Bishop Franco has been awarded transfers to the Kuruvilangad convent under the Missionaries of Jesus at Pala in Kottayam district. Incidentally, they are posted to the same convent where the rape survivor nun and the fellow nuns who supported her have also been staying.

The three nuns who have been assigned to take charge of the posts are C Jyothis, C Lisyu and C Anitha. According to TNM, the nuns have already reached the convent but haven’t taken any charge yet. Recently, two other nuns-Aneet and Stella were also transferred to the Kuruvilangad convent from Jalandhar. However, only Aneet stayed while Stella flew back to Jalandhar.

It is reported that appointing the nuns close to Franco, the Church is trying to send a message that it intends to keep nuns subservient to them and answerable to the affairs. The Church by awarding prominent posts to the nuns has once again stood by the rape accused Bishop Franco.

“The nuns didn’t have any clue that there will be such a change. Even after Jyothis, Anitha and Lisyu came to the convent, the nuns were not aware of the exact intention. Only after one of the three sisters began running the daily affairs, the sisters became aware of the change,” TNM quoted as said by a source close to the convent.

Interestingly, the three nuns who have been transferred are reportedly very critical of the victim and supporting nuns. Sister Anitha and Sister Aneet were also part of a team which visited Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Delhi pleading innocence of Franco.

“The sisters fear it is an agenda to put pressure on them to leave the convent themselves or to mentally harass them,” reported TNM.

Franco Mulakkal, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, is accused of raping a 44- year-old nun at a guest house in Kuravilangad in May 2014 and subsequent sexual exploitations afterward. The nun had registered a complaint in June this year and has also claimed that despite her complaints, the church took no action on the bishop. The congregation had also stood by the rape accused and referred to him as an “innocent soul”.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal, Archdiocese of Jalandhar, Punjab, was arrested by the police officials on September 21st after the investigating team finally found evidence that linked him in the sexual harassment case. However, The Kerala High court had granted him conditional bail on October 15 after asking him to appear before the investigation team once every two weeks and had also ordered to surrender his passport.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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