Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who was alleged of rape by a Kerala nun, has been removed temporarily of his pastoral duty by the Vatican.
Catholic Bishop Conference of India in a statement said that “The Holy Father has received the request of Rt. Rev. Bishop Franco Mulakkal to be temporarily relieved of his pastoral responsibilities in the Diocese of Jullundur.”
The statement continues, “Having considered all circumstances, the Holy Father has accepted this request of Bishop Mulakkal and has appointed the Rt. Rev. Agnelo Rufino Gracias, Titular Bishop of Molicunza and Auxiliary Bishop emeritus of Bombay, as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Jullundur side plena et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis.”
Franco Mulakkal had written a statement to Pope Francis plea for permission to temporarily step down as head or Bishop of the Diocese of Jalandhar as he wants more time to fight his case.
In a letter to Pope Francis, which dated September 16, the Bishop said that he may pay a visit to Kerala several times and so he wants to hand over his duties to someone else for the time being. Last week, he handed over all the administrative duties of the Jalandhar Diocese to one of the junior priests.
The Kerala nun accused that she was been sexually harmed by Franco Mulakkal for 13 times between 2014-2016 as he visited a convent in Kottayam district of Kerala. Therefore, the Bishop was interrogated for several hours by the Kerala Police.
Police report that they are trying to get the conclusion and wants to solve the contradictions over both their words. Earlier Kerala Police reports that there were several differences in both of their statements.
Franco Mulakkal claims that the charges against him were “cooked up a story to wreak vengeance” for the act done by him as several complaints also lodged against him.
Rejected all the allegation, the Bishop said that the complaint lodged by the nun was “nothing but a fictional story.”