21 September 2018, The Tablet

Pope names temporary administrator as Indian bishop is investigated for alleged rape


Cardinal Gracias said the retired auxiliary of Mumbai, Bishop Agnelo Rufino Gracias, would temporarily serve as apostolic administrator of Jalandhar


Pope names temporary administrator as Indian bishop is investigated for alleged rape

Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar, India, is led away for questioning by police Sept. 19 on the outskirts of Cochin.
Photo: CNS photo/Sivaram V, Reuters

Pope Francis has accepted the request of an Indian bishop accused of raping a nun to be relieved of his duties during the investigation.

In a letter dated 20 September, the Cardinal Oswald Gracias, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, said Bishop Franco Mulakkal would be temporarily relieved of his pastoral duties for the Diocese of Jalandhar.

An Indian nun accused the bishop of raping her four years ago and then sexually abusing her multiple times over the following two years. Bishop Mulakkal claims the accusations are baseless and aim to deflate the disciplinary action he had initiated against the nun.

The statement from Cardinal Gracias said the retired auxiliary of Mumbai, Bishop Agnelo Rufino Gracias, would temporarily serve as apostolic administrator of Jalandhar.

In early September, the nun accused church officials of inaction on her complaint.

Police in Kerala state interrogated the bishop for seven hours 19 September, reported mattersindia.com.


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