Editor’s NoteOpinion

India must fight to get justice for the Nun raped by Bishop Franco

A 44-year old nun has been raped and sodmised by Bishop Franco Mulakkal. Not once but 13-times.

The nun tried to reach out to the elders in the Catholic Church to intervene and save her from the repeated trauma.

The elders in the Catholic Church in India and at the Vatican acted deaf, dumb and blind to her repeated complaints and cry for help.

In her desperation and fight for survival she turned to the Indian law after losing faith in the Canon law.

In return for this bold and defiant step, the Catholic Church guided by the accused rapist Bishop Franco Mulakkal started to indulge in a smear campaign against the raped Nun and started targeting all those priests, nuns and laity supporting her in her fight for justice.

The mental torture and repeated harassment continues even after a year of the case coming to light and the wheels of justice working like a snail on this case.

Sister Lucy Kalappura of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation has been expelled by Catholic Church under the guidance of the Vatican for supporting the 44-year old Nun in her fight for justice.

Father Kuriakose Kattuthara a strong supporter of the nun raped and a priest who testified against Bishop Franco Mulakkal – exposed his lies, was found died mysteriously in his room. Till today the final post-mortem report of the cause of his death has not been made public. Neither has any progress been made in the investigations related to his sudden death.

The nuns of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation who have been fighting defiantly for justice for the nun raped by Bishop Franco Mulakkal will continue to face the wrath, slander and harassment of the Catholic Church, from some members to the Catholic Church, in order to crush their spirit in this fight for justice.

Time and again some senior clergy leaders I have spoken to on this case, opine that Bishop Franco Mulakkal and the allegations of rape by the Nun is an internal matter of the Catholic Church and that the Nun making the matter public has brought shame to the Catholic faith and institution.

So I wanted to ask my fellow Indians – Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis. Here are some unanswered questions that I had asked Bishop Franco Mulakkal and have not received a response; so I am asking my fellow Indians what do they think of these startling facts in this case raised to the accused rapist directly.

  • Did not Fr James Eryathil approach Sister Anupama with a bribe of 10 acre land to set-up a convent? Which did he approach her on your behalf and where does a Catholic Bishop gets 10 acre of land to give to the nuns to set-up a convent?
  • Did not Fr James Eryathil approach the brother of the raped nun with Rs 5 crore compensation to hush up the case? Why did he approach the brother on your behalf and where does a Catholic Bishop get Rs 5 crore to bribe someone?
  • What would have been the need to bribe the family and nuns supporting the victim if you were innocent of the crime you are being accused of and for which you were jailed?
  • Did you not spread the false story in media about the raped nun, first having an illicit affair with another man and then that she was trying to blackmail you for a better position in the congregation?
  • Did priests connected to you harass and torture mentally and emotionally Father Kuriakose for supporting the nun and speaking against you?
  • Are not the statements you made to the Kerala police during investigations false, this was proved when the statements were corroborated with the other key witnesses, that’s why you were arrested?
  • Did not the victim nun in her statement stated that you raped her 13 times between 2014 and 2016 at the Convent’s guest house at Kurvailangad and when the police questioned you, you lied that you were never there on those days?
  • Did not the nun-in-charge of the Thodupuzha convent tell the investigators that you did not arrive at the Thodupuzha convent on May 5, 2014. In fact she told the investigators that you told her lie about your whereabouts to create an alibi?
  • Did not your driver tell the investigators that he had dropped you at the St Francis Convent at Kurvailangad just as the victim nun mentioned in her statement?
  • Did not the Visitor’s Register Diary in possession of the police not show any entry of you at the Thodupuzha convent on that day?
  • Why did Fr Kuriakose fear you so much that he told his family that his life was in danger for speaking the truth against you to the media? Why did he term you as a ‘thug’ and a ‘goonda’?
  • Did not the investigations into the rape case of the nun and charges filed in the affidavit in Kerala high court reveal that you also raped the nun unnaturally? Where did you acquire such levels of degeneration?
  • Did not the police investigations reveal that besides rape of the nun in question thirteen times, you also have cases of sexual abuse against you from two other sisters?
  • You told media that Anti-Christian forces are attacking you and the Church? Could you prove which anti-christian force attacked you because the nuns are Christians, the people who protested for justice and your arrest were Christians?

So please tell me, can we Indians come together and stand in solidarity with these sisters and with the Nun who was raped repeatedly by Bishop Franco Mulakkal; or will we chose to remain silent on account of different religious and non-religious grounds.

The sight of the Bishop being garlanded on his bail release from prison is deplorable and exhibits the brutal truth that a man in power can get away with rape and because he is a leader of a religious faith gets treated as a saint, while the rape victim mourns at this injustice in silence.

India do you not see a woman who happens to be a nun, is being made to fight a monstrosity of an institution – Catholic Church – that is completely hostile to them.

We come on the streets as Indians over different issues including some horrific rape cases but we have not yet come out on the streets as India in this case. Only a few committed Christians have decided to fight the Catholic Church and stand by the truth.

I reiterate that my biggest fear is that the Nuns will be crushed by the power of the Catholic Church of India and their fight will be buried for years over this case, with no headway but show of religious and political muscle.

But I also know that the Nuns will fight because all they have now is their self-respect and their fight for justice.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal must not be allowed to get away because of being a Christian Bishop. He is an accused in a serious crime of rape and sodomy.

He is a shame on the Catholic Church, unfortunately over the issues of sexual abuses by the clergy in the Catholic Church, many senior clergymen who hold high offices and can stop this global epidemic are shameless and do not care about the victims.

We must come together as Indians and defeat the power of the Vatican to get justice for Sister.

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