New Delhi: Franco Mulakkal, the Roman Catholic Bishop who is facing allegations of repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting a nun, described his time in prison akin to a "21-day retreat" and said that the bail he was granted on October 15 was “something like a miracle”.
A report in the Indian Express has said that the Bishop wrote to other Bishops of the Catholic Church in India to tell them about the ongoing case. In the letter written on October 19, he has reportedly claimed: "After two days of interrogation before the police team at Trippunithara (Kerala), it became clear that police had no option but to arrest me due to pressure from the media and the scenario created by the sisters and their supporters at Vanchi Square in front of the high court at Kochi."
Describing his time in prison (in the letter), Mulakkal said that it was like a “21-day retreat since most of the time was spent in prayers, reading of the word of God, meditation and personal reflection… It was a time of great blessing and graces” and that he faced no trouble in his cell.
On October 17, Franco Mulakkal received a rousing welcome from his supporters when he reached Jalandhar after being released on bail by a Kerala court. Mulakkal smiled as followers showered rose petals on him. He was arrested on September 21 after being accused of repeatedly raping and sexually abusing a nun between 2014 and 2016.
In her complaint to the Kottayam Police in June, the nun had alleged that Bishop Mulakkal raped her at a guest house in May 2014 and later sexually exploited her on several occasions. The nun said in her complaint that she had to approach the police as the church authorities did not act on her repeated complaints.
Mulakkal, however, has denied the charges as "baseless and concocted," insisting she levelled them as the Catholic order had rejected her demands for favours.