MUMBAI, India – An Indian bishop accused of raping on a nun multiple times will see his day in court on Nov. 11. Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar will be tried in the state of Kerala, the center of Christianity in India.
Mulakkal is from the state, although his current diocese is located in Punjab.
The bishop was arrested on Sept. 21, 2018, in Kerala after a months-long investigation into the accusations of a nun claiming he raped her 13 times between 2014 and 2016. He was released on bail on Oct. 15, 2018.
The nun is a member of the Punjab-based Missionaries of Jesus congregation, but said the attacks happened in Kuravilangad, the location of one of the order’s convents in Kerala.
The bishop vehemently denies the charges, and claims the nun is retaliating because he initiated an investigation against her for an affair she allegedly had with a married man.
(On Sept. 20, 2018, Pope Francis temporarily relieved Mulakkal of his pastoral duties for the Diocese of Jalandhar, and appointed the retired auxiliary of Mumbai, Bishop Agnelo Rufino Gracias, apostolic administrator of the diocese.)
Meanwhile, the nun making the accusation has lodged a formal complaint saying the bishop is harassing her on social media.
She alleges that videos have been uploaded to YouTube by Mulakkal’s allies which could reveal her identity, which is illegal.
She said the videos “are intended to disrespect, abuse, intimidate and influence” the witnesses and investigation team in the case.
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