Bishop Franco Mulakkal relieved of duties

The interrogation of the Catholic bishop of the Syrian Malabar Church for allegedly raping a nun in Kerala began for the second day on Thursday at the Crime Branch office in Tripunithura.

Updated - June 09, 2020 12:26 pm IST

Published - September 20, 2018 11:42 am IST - KOCHI

 Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun, leaves after questioning before the special investigation team of the Kerala police, in Thripunithura, Wednesday.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun, leaves after questioning before the special investigation team of the Kerala police, in Thripunithura, Wednesday.

Pope Francis has accepted the request of Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal that he be temporarily relieved of pastoral duties.

 

A communication from the Apostolic Nunciature in India said, “Having considered all circumstances, the Holy Father has accepted the request of Bishop Mulakkal” and has appointed Agnelo Rufino Gracias, Titular Bishop of Molicunza and Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Bombay, as apostolic administrator of the diocese of Jalandhar.

The development was welcomed by protesters at the 13-day-old agitation and relay hunger strike in Kochi.

Sister Anupama, a Catholic nun who is participating in the stir seeking the arrest of the bishop, said the Vatican’s decision was a sign that the Church was taking the side of the protesters who were seeking justice. The decision would strengthen their protest.

The Save Our Sisters Action Committee announced that five women would start a 24-hour hunger strike on Friday, demanding the bishop’s arrest.

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