Thiruvanathapuram: A day after a nun who has accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Jalandhar diocese of raping her petitioned the Vatican, Father Paul Thelakkat from Syro Malabar church bemoaned the deadening silence and lack of moral leadership in the church.
Father Thelakkat, Chief Editor of the Syro Malabar church journal, Light of Truth, urged the church authorities to interfere immediately in the case and stop maligning the nun.
"It is a very sorry situation we are in. It is very abnormal that some nun's come out in the street to and wail and protest. It is a very serious matter where the people of God are angry... Is there not any authority in the church? Is what people are asking," Father Thelakkat told CNN-News18.
Father Thelakkat pointed out that the issue has been in the diocese for some years, and still no church authority has interfered despite repeated application and complaints by the nun.
"There is an extremely deadening silence from the authorities, it is a very sorry affair. It shows the lack of moral leadership in the church. I do not blame the ordinary bishops, they are also in a fix," said Thelakkat.
The nun at the centre of the controversy, in her petition to the Vatican representative in India, alleged that the clergyman was using “political and money power” to bury the case, and sought his removal from the post.
"Being a religious sister who is denied justice from the congregation authority and from the Church authority of Latin and Syro Malabar Churches, once again I implore your mercy on my situation.
“I beg the Church authorities to kindly make a speedy enquiry about this case and remove Bishop Franco from his responsibilities as the spiritual leader of the diocese,” the nun wrote in her letter.
The letter by the nun comes amid protests by a group of nuns and others against the delay in taking action against the bishop, who has been accused of rape and unnatural sex with the complainant multiple times between 2014 and 2016.
Bishop Franco Mulakkal on Tuesday rejected the charges as “baseless and concocted” and said he was open for probe.
Terming the allegations against him as “serious”, the bishop said only three persons knew the truth. “The complainant’s sister, myself and God (know the truth),” he said.