Bishop Angelo, who is currently the Apostolic Administrator of the Jalandhar diocese, said that the transfer order would stand revoked till the case is in court.

After much pressure church finally withdraws transfer order of 5 Kerala nuns
news Saturday, February 09, 2019 - 17:13

In a much-delayed move which has come after immense pressure, the Missionaries of Jesus congregation has finally revoked the transfer orders of the five Kerala nuns, who are the key witnesses in the case against rape accused Bishop, Franco Mulakkal

Conveying the news to them, current apostolic administrator of Jalandhar diocese, Bishop Angelo, wrote a letter stating that their transfer orders would stand revoked as long as the case was in court. 

“I was surprised and dismayed at seeing the letter to Sr Neena Rose. I am giving a directive to the General that she will not issue any letters to the 5 of you without my explicit permission. This will be an order to her from me as Apostolic Administrator of the congregation - since it is of Diocesan Right, it comes under me,” Bishop Agnello wrote. 

The Superior General of the Jalandhar diocese had earlier transferred 4 of the nuns - Sr Anupama, Sr Josephine, Sr Alphy and Sr Ancitta - to Punjab, Jharkhand, Bihar and Kannur. The move was criticised as a deliberate attempt to separate them and weaken the case. 

Later the Superior General had also wrote to fifth nun, Sr Neena Rose - which Bishop Agnelo mentions here - demanding that Sr Neena present herself before the authorities in Jalandhar, where Bishop Franco currently resides. This was a direct attempt to bring a witness out of the jurisdiction of the Kerala police and under the control of the accused Bishop.

“I would like to assure the five of you that as far as it lies within my power, there will be no move to oust you from the Kuruvilangad convent as long as you are needed for the court case,” Bishop Agnelo’s letter further read. 

He concluded the letter adding that the church would want the truth to emerge - a statement that contradicts the church’s actions thus far.

On Saturday, the Save Our Sisters forum, which has been fighting for the nuns in the Bishop Franco case, along with the nuns themselves organised a one-day protest against the transfer orders. The protest was held in the old police station grounds in Kottayam and attended by several prominent writers, poets and activists. 

During the conference, a group of protestors from the Catholic Federation of India, reached the SOS convention and attempted to attack the nuns - Sr Anupama, Sr Alphy, Sr Josephine and Sr Neena Rose - for protesting. 

 The clash was finally resolved when the police arrived and removed those group of attackers from the premises.

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