MUMBAI, India – A television news channel in India has revealed that a nun who has accused a bishop of rape wrote two letters to the Vatican representative to India about her complaints.
Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar – in the Indian state of Punjab – was accused in June of repeatedly sexually assaulting the sister belonging to the Punjab-based Missionaries of Jesus religious congregation. The alleged assaults took place on 13 different occasions between 2014-2016 at the nun’s order’s convent in the state of Kerala.
On Tuesday, Mirror Now, an Indian English-language news network, revealed that it had received copies of two letters allegedly sent by the nun to Vatican representatives.
The letters include allegations of threats and intimidation, and said the bishop harassed the nun’s brother (who is a priest) and other members of her family.
The first letter was dated January 28, 2018; the second was dated June 26. They were both addressed to Archbishop Giambattista Diquattro, the apostolic nuncio to India, although it has not been verified he received them.
In the letters, the nun said she was “undergoing trauma and suffering” and that “fake news is being circulated” by the bishop and his allies.
The letter alleges the bishop called the nun to see her “under false pretenses” and “brutally raped” her.
The news channel said the nun wrote that she was “numbed and terrified.”
The nun went to the police in Kerala on June 29, and the authorities have since then been investigating the charges.
So far, at least 70 people have been interviewed in the investigation, and police officials say they have collected numerous documents related to the case.
Authorities said they tried to interview officials at the Vatican embassy but were turned back since they had not sought the proper permissions to interview diplomatic personnel. They said they would return when the paperwork was in order.
Mulakkal, who is due to be interviewed this week, has vehemently denied the charges, and says the nun is retaliating against him for investigating a complaint she had an affair with a married man.
“I don’t want to speak ill of my enemy. Let no harm come to her because of me. But let the truth come out,” the bishop told Crux.