'We Can Buy Some Land...But You Will Have to Take Back the Case': Priest Telephones Kerala Nun
Photo for representation only.
Thiruvananthapuram: The family of a Kerala-based nun has alleged that they have been offered land if they agree to withdraw a complaint of sexual abuse against a Bishop.
A nun had filed a police complaint against the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, Punjab, for allegedly sexually abusing her 13 times since 2014. The nun filed a police complaint
only after the Bishop filed a complaint against her and five others, accusing them of threatening and blackmailing him.
Defending himself, Bishop Mulakkal said that the nun was blackmailing him after he initiated disciplinary action against her, including transferring her from the present institution. Refusing to obey the orders, she was raising baseless allegations, the Bishop said in his complaint.
The nun, on the other hand, alleged that the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church ignored the complaint against Bishop Franco Mulakkal and acted in a “surreptitious” manner when it was brought to the notice of its hierarchy.
An offer call made by a priest to a senior nun, who has stood by the survivor, was reportedly leaked by her family. News18 has not been able to independently verify the authenticity of the leaked audio clip.
In the audio clip, the person identifies himself as the "priest who came for the communion in the morning", and suggests that if they withdraw the case the diocese will buy them new land and build a separate convent for these six sisters.
"The people in diocese have just suggested that if needed we can buy some land and build a convent and shift all of you to a safe location. It may not happen today or tomorrow, it will take its time, if necessary we can think about that. But if you stick to your stand, this will not happen. You will have to take back the case," the priest said.
The priest is heard suggesting that the nuns think about withdrawing the case, as going back to the families might not be a better option for them in the long run.
He told the sister, "I wanted to tell you that you must think a lot while going ahead with this (case). You must be knowing that the nun who complained and her family will be ready to do anything in this."
The person added that they are not compelling them, but suggests that they think about it and warned about the possible threats.
"If you go to the convent run by your congregation, in Orissa and Andhra, threats may arise. But if you are independent and then shifting, then there won’t be any problems. I was just suggesting it would be good to think in that aspect," added the priest.
The priest, having made his case, said that he understood their situation and respects their feeling.