The Kottayam court acquitted Bishop Franco Mulakkal, of all charges of raping a Nun after a trial which lasted for 100 days, reports NDTV.
According to NDTV, the nun who accused him of rape charges, filed a complaint with the kerala police in June 2018. She filed a complaint accusing Bishop Franco of raping her 13 times from 2014-2016. She took this extreme step after all her complaints to the catholic establishment went futile.
About the Complainant
The complaint of the nun who is 50 years old now, shook the Catholic establishment four years ago. She became a nun when she was just 15 years. She took a vow of celibacy and entered the seminary. It needs an extraordinary effort for a woman to speak out against an institution, she was trained to obey without question or doubt for more than 30 years. However, she rebelled against her authority.
What happens if a nun disobeys the institution?
The nun had to pay heavy price for breaking information. She was shunned by the church. The supporters of the powerful priest sent threats and slander against her. Many attempts to manipulate the case and weaken the victim psychologically. Lots of pressure was built so that she withdraws the complaint.
Many videos were circulated in the social media defaming the nun and her small circle of supporters. In addition to this, the Bishop’s lawyers used the same in the court. She was evicted from the Kuravilangad convent in January 2019. However, the sisterhood did not let the case go weak. She was constantly put under pressure psychologically.
Verdict in Lower Court
A lower court in Kottayam pronounced the verdict on January 14, Friday 2022. Bishop Franco would have been the first catholic bishop to be convicted of rape in India, if he were found guilty. However, reports say that he used all his power to get acquitted.
Efforts by the Bishop and his team
When the nun accused him of raping her 13 times between 2014 and 2016, Bishop Franco was the head of the Jalandar diocese in Punjab.
Firstly, the Bishop’s legal team put their entire efforts to request the court that the proceedings should be held behind closed doors to protect the reputation of the Bishop. They succeeded in their efforts.
Then, they questioned the legitimacy of the complaint. They said that the case should have been filed immediately and not on a later date.
Efforts of the Prosecution
The prosecution tried its level best to prove the charges filed by the Nun. Apparently, it didn’t know how rigidly the church works. Moreover, it is very difficult for a female clergy to speak out. It tried to convince the court about the case in many ways.
Ordeal of the Nun
It was informed that the nun and the survivor confessed her ordeal to another nun – Sister Lissy Vadakkel – who was her counselor too. However, as trained, their first instinct was to turn to prayers. For she was counseled that prayer would give her courage to approach higher authorities with a complaint.
Later on she knocked several doors, including the Vatican. As she did not receive any support, she approached the police.
Most of the people are shocked to hear the judgment. However, it is said that the Nun would approach the High Court or the Supreme court.