Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Indian bishop formally charged with rape

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jullundur, India has been charged with raping a nun nine times over a two-year period and faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, local authorities announced today.

Highlights

By (CNA/EWTN)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
4/10/2019 (1 year ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Indian bishop, formally charged, rape

Jalandhar, India, (CNA) - The charge sheet against Mulakkal included statements from more than 80 witnesses including a cardinal, three bishops, 11 priests and 25 nuns, according to Indian Catholic group Save our Sisters.

Mulakkal has also been charged under laws against intimidation, illegal confinement and unnatural intercourse, the New York Times reports, and he faces at least 10 years in prison if found guilty.

In June 2018, a member of the Missionaries of Jesus religious congregation accused Mulukkal of sexually assaulting her 13 times between 2014 and 2016. In a 72-page complaint to police, filed June 29, the nun alleged that the bishop sexually abused her more than a dozen times over two years.

Police in the Indian state of Kerala had announced yesterday that they had gathered enough evidence to formally charge Mulakkal and that they would file a charging document in criminal court this week.

The bishop maintains his innocence. He was arrested Sept. 21, 2018 amid protests calling for a police investigation of the allegation. He was subsequently released on bail.

A lay group in the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly, called the Movement for Transparency, filed a police complaint at the time charging that Cardinal George Alencherry, who heads the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, received the nun's complaint six months previously but failed to report it to the police.

Mulakkal, 55, was temporarily removed from the administration of his diocese shortly before he was arrested. The bishop claims that the nun accused him of rape as retaliation, because he had ordered an investigation into a claim that she was having an affair with a relative.

On Oct. 22, 2018, Fr. Kuriakose Kattuthara, a key police witness in the case, was found dead in his room. The priest's family alleged foul play.

Mulakkal was ordered by police investigators last year to turn over to them a laptop believed to contain evidence in the case, but Indian officials have not yet reported whether the bishop turned over the computer as ordered.

The New York Times reports that earlier this year, police in Kerala said they were looking into reports that Church leaders in India had abused other nuns, and that four priests in Kerala had blackmailed women during confession to force them into sex.

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.