Rape Scandal Rocks Catholic Church
THE WEEK|September 23, 2018
Rape Scandal Rocks Catholic Church

The church’s credibility is the biggest casualty of a nun’s rape allegations against the Catholic bishop of Jalandhar.

Cithara Paul

It has been exactly a decade since a nun from Kerala, Jesme, shook the citadels of the Catholic church in India by leaving her congregation in protest of the malpractices in the church. It seems the church is in for some bigger troubles now, and there is a nun right at its centre. She has taken on a powerful bishop who heads one of the richest dioceses in the country.

It all started in June, when the nun and Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar diocese filed complaints against each other. The bishop complained that the nun’s brother threatened to kill him; the nun, who was earlier working in Jalandhar, said that the bishop had raped her 13 times. The bishop alleged that the nun was taking revenge for his ordering an inquiry into a complaint that she was in a relationship with a married man. But a few more nuns also have come out in the open against him.

While the Kerala Police took its own sweet time with the investigation, a few nuns have started a public protest, demanding justice. The protest has garnered media attention and the support of the public. “My sister’s life is under threat. She has not stepped out of her room for weeks,” said Alfi, the nun’s sister. Alfi had followed the footsteps of her elder sister, who had joined the congregation at the age of 17. “She has to go through all these because she resisted the advances of a powerful person in the church. We will continue our fight till justice is delivered,” she said.


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September 23, 2018