Franco Mulakkal, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Jalandhar, has transferred his powers to vicar-general Mathew Kokkandam ahead of deposing before the investigating team probing his alleged rape of a nun.
“In my absence Mathew Kokkandam will administer the diocese as it is the normal practice,” said a circular.
Fr. Mulakkal has also appointed Father Joseph Thekkumkattil as Dean of Tanda Deanery and Father Subin Thekkadathu as Parochial Vicar, St Mary’s Church, Tanda.
In a letter addressed to fathers, sisters, and brothers of the diocese on September 13, Fr. Mulakkal said: “As you have come to know from the media thr investigation into the allegations raised against me, there are several contradictions in the evidences collected against me as per the report of the police. It is reported that I am to be called for further clarifications by the investigating officer in Kerala. I request you to continue to pray for me and the alleged victim and her supporters who have come out against me so that divine intervention may bring about change of heart and truth of the matter may be revealed.”
The police team probing the alleged sexual abuse of the nun has summoned Fr. Mulakkal for interrogation on September 19.
The Kerala High Court expressed its prima facie satisfaction over the ongoing investigation when two Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petitions, one demanding the arrest of the bishop and another for a probe by the CBI probe came up for hearing.