Several people have been outraged at the lack of action against Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal who has been accused of raping a 44-year-old nun from the Missionaries of Jesus in Kerala, multiple times between 2014 and 2016. While 85-year-old Jose Joseph of the Joint Christian Council and farmer Stephen Mathew have been on a hunger strike since September 9 demanding the arrest of the bishop, the sister of the rape survivor nun has also joined the hunger strike.
Earlier, she was one of the five nuns who took to protests after the police had refused to arrest the bishop.
The victim first approached the police earlier this year in June, after the Catholic Church failed to take any action on her complaint. Bishop Mulakkal was booked by cops under section 376 (punishment for rape) under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), but no arrest was made. Following this, five nuns from the Missionaries of Jesus in Kottayam district decided to protest to demand the bishop’s arrest.
On Monday, it was reported that amid the increasing demands for his arrest, Bishop Franco Mulakkal had written to the Pope asking to be temporarily relieved of his duties in the diocese. Sources in the church, however, claimed that the Vatican would nonetheless force him to resign, prior to any arrest.
The Missionaries of Jesus had earlier come out and spoken against the nun and even proceeded to reveal her identity, in direct violation of the law. They claimed that the nun had been seen in public with the bishop on the day after the alleged sexual assault and sought to trivialise her complaint against the bishop.