Catholic bishop found innocent in India | Sexual Harassment

An Indian court has acquitted a Roman Catholic bishop of nuns for raping a nun in his convent, amid allegations of sexual harassment.

An Indian court has acquitted a Roman Catholic bishop of nuns for raping a nun at her convent in a rural area, a case that has been the subject of intense court cases. sexual harassment in the church.

Sessions Judge G Gopakumar briefly stated that on Friday the bishop was not guilty of raping the nun repeatedly between 2014 and 2016.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal was present in court in Kottayam, a city in southern India. The audience cheered and chanted “Glory to Jehovah” as they left the courtyard.

A detailed decision is expected to be available Friday night.

The defendant, a nun’s representative, is appealing the decision, said lawyer Sandhya Raju.

Virginia Saldanha, former secretary general of the Commission for Women of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, said she was shocked by the decision.

“My first impression was that sex was the lifeblood of the church. This ruling emphasizes the fact that a strong person cannot be judged, ”he said.

Police charged Mulakkal with rape, unjust imprisonment and intimidation of a nun. He said he only went to the police station after repeated complaints from church officials. In time, a group of fellow nuns began to be formed unprecedented human protests demanding Mulakkal’s arrest in 2018. He was arrested but released on bail a few weeks later.

The nuns had also written a letter to the Vatican requesting that it intervene. Their riots became headlines in the country and divided the few Christians in India where there is a large Hindu population, where they make up 2.3 percent of the population according to the census.

Mulakkal was in charge of a group of nuns, Missionaries of Jesus, and had considerable influence on budget and operations.

Mulakkal dismissed the allegations, calling them “baseless and fictional,” and said the nun who accused him tried to force her to get a better job.

The nun in her complaint accused Mulakkal, then bishop of the Jalandhar Diocese in the north of Punjab, of raping her several times on her way to the convent in Kuravilangad, Kerala state.

Kerala is considered to be the birthplace of Christianity in India, and the apostle Thomas is credited with arriving there in 52 CE

Sister Anupama, who led the campaign in support of the convent, said that she would continue to fight for her friend.

“We have not received justice from the judges,” Press Trust of India reporters quoted him as saying.

Bishop Raman Pillai, bishop’s lawyer, told reporters that “the trial was very weak and the investigation was very serious.”

Although the Catholic Church has been the subject of much controversy around the world, Mulakkal was India’s first prosecutor.

In February 2019, Pope Francis for the first time publicly acknowledged that priests and bishops were being raped by nuns and promised to end the problem.

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