On Friday, Kerala Police has registered a case, wherein the Bishop of Jalandhar diocese – Franco Mulakkal, has been accused of raping a Nun. The investigation team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) of Vaikom – K Subhash will question priests of various churches in the case, like Cardinal George Allencherry, Bishop of Pala Joseph Kallarangatt and Kuravilangad Marth Mariam Church’s Vicar, Father Joseph Thadathil.
Magistrate of Changanassery recorded the Nun’s statement u/s 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), in which she has stated that she had been raped many times from 2014-16 by Mulakkal, inside a convent at Kuravilangad. The Nun who belongs to Angamaly, used to be a mother superior at a convent called Missionaries Of Jesus, which came under Jalandhar diocese. She has stated that she complained only after Mulakkal filed a case against her brother.
Meanwhile in another case, 5 priests of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Kerala’s Kottayam, have been alleged by a woman and her husband of raping her. The matter came to light, after her husband’s audio clip went viral on social media, in which he says that her wife was being raped by a priest since the time before their marriage. But, things became complicated when his wife made the mistake of trusting another priest and ‘confessing’ the incident to him.
The other priest ‘misused’ this religious confession. Instead of assisting the woman, he told about this incident to 3 other priests, and all of them took advantage of the woman’s situation. For many years, the woman was sexually exploited by all 5 of them, as they kept in touch with her on social media, though each one of them didn’t knew about the other’s activities. The woman’s husband only got to know about her ordeal in February this year.
As it happened, that one of the 5 priests who belonged to Delhi, came to Kochi and met the woman at a 5 star hotel. The room was booked through woman’s debit card, which came to her husband’s knowledge, and he questioned her about the same. That is when she told him everything. The husband then complained to the Malankara Church authorities, about all the 5 priests – 3 of Niranam Diocese, Thiruvalla, 1 from Pandalam and 1 from Delhi.
He is heard talking to a church official in the audio clip, saying that he has come to know that the Bishop will only suspend the priests for 6 months, which is not enough for him, as he wants all of them to be removed from the Church. He has claimed that after he brought the matter in public domain, the powerful church authorities have tried to intimidate him, asking him to take back his complaint.
The Church has however removed all the 5 priests, but a police case is yet to be registered. The above 2 incidents follow a case of Nuns in Mother Teresa’s charity in Ranchi, caught selling babies. This points towards a pattern of Churches and Nunneries becoming hub of crimes against women and children, with the authorities of these institutions misusing their religious position. All these cases must be thoroughly investigated and the guilty must be punished.