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Nun abuse case: Nuns, priests, laity write to Vatican

Press Trust of India  |  Kochi 

A section of nuns, priests and of the Roman has written to the Vatican over the alleged rape of a in by a bishop, urging it "to do what is right" to provide justice to the women in the church.

The letters were written to Giambattista Diquttro, Apostolic Nuncio to and the Catholic Bishops Conference of Cardinal

The church authorities were requested to "advise" Pope Francis to "relieve" "of his pastoral responsibilities so that the church is seen to actually practice the zero tolerance it professes to observe in abuse cases."

Stating that they were concerned about the integrity of the Indian church, the letters stated that people's faith in the credibility of the church to implement its policy of zero tolerance in abuse matters would continue to erode if the accused remain in his position at Jalandhar diocese.

They said the "mud slinging" between the and his priests on one hand and the aggrieved sister and her family on the other has turned the church into an object of ridicule, "thus causing a lot of harm to the church and in particular to the faith of the people of God."

"We trust that Christ who is our light, and who always stood up against the exploitation of women will stand with the church and give the leadership courage to do what is right in the cause of justice to women in the church," the letter to the Apostolic Nuncio to said.

They also requested Cardinal Gracias to advise bishops in India to publicise and create awareness about CBCI guidelines to deal with sexual harassment in workplace, 2017, and institute the structures and procedures described therein without delay.

"To preach justice, the church must be seen to practice justice (Synod of Bishops, 1971). Sadly the representations made by the religious sister to the bishops have brought no response, raising issues about the credibility of the CBCI policy," the letter to Gracias said.

Mulakkal has claimed he is innocent and said the truth will come out in the police investigation.

"I know that I am innocent, but that is not enough. Bringing out the truth is also my responsibility now. I believe that the police investigation in the case will bring out the truth," he said yesterday.

In her complaint to the district police chief, the charged Mulakkal with rape and unnatural sex multiple times at a small town near between 2014 and 2016.

Clergymen supporting Mulakkal had said the filed a complaint against him after a priest, also an of the Jalandhar diocese, filed one against her relatives for allegedly threatening the bishop.

In his complaint, the has alleged that the nun's relatives threatened to kill Mulakkal after he ordered a probe against her on the basis of the complaint received by the Mother Superior of her congregation.

Last week, the nun complained to the that the Police was "not working" in the case as the accused is a "highly-linked" person.

NCW said the commission would extend all possible help to the nun in her fight.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, July 13 2018. 15:30 IST