The nun rape case that shook India is still awaiting its justice against the accused Jalandhar Diocese Bishop Franco Mulakkal.
The rape survivor has decided to write a letter to the Vatican seeking justice.
The letter was written on the 8th of September to The Apostolic Nuncio of India, Giambattista Diquattro – an Ambassador to the Pope. The letter was leaked on Tuesday. Through the letter, she asked the nuncio to intervene in the issue urgently.
Here are excerpts of the letter- “From childhood we have been taught to believe that the Church is our mother. But in the light of my experience I am beginning to think that the Church is a stepmother to women and laity.”
… “I write this letter as a victim of sexual abuse who is seeking justice.”
… “Though Bishop Franco had sexually abused me several times, I could not reveal the full story to my Superior General or to her Councilors. I only told them repeatedly that the Bishop is taking many disciplinary actions through them just because I resisted to lie down with him. As they failed to understand even the seriousness of these words, I could not tell them more than this. And I had the fear that Bishop Franco may harm me with the support of my superiors (sic).”
… “Bishop Franco had always an eagle’s eye on few other MJ (Missionaries of Jesus) sisters as well. Whichever sister Bishop Franco felt attraction to, he tried to put them in his trap by force or taking advantage of their weaknesses.”
… “In this matter I can place a simple example of April 2017. One of our young sisters who had a close contact with Bishop Franco was caught by the authority with specific proofs for a serious error in the place where this sister was rendering her service. Then Bishop Franco asked our superiors to send her to another state where we have more than 3 communities, to a place where only junior sisters were there. Then in the same week itself, Bishop Franco made a special visit to this community and stayed there overnight. At night till 12 pm, this sister was alone in his room for ‘spiritual direction’.”
The nun stated that she had even met Cardinal George Alencherry and told him of the experiences she underwent. She asked him to get an appointment with the nuncio in the context of bishop Franco trying to trap her and her companion in a police case in Jalandhar.
The letter asked the nuncio to conduct a speedy inquiry and remove the bishop. She had previously given a letter to the nuncio through the Bhagalpur bishop Kurian Valiyakandathil on January 28 and he handed it over to the nuncio at the CBCI meet held in Bangalore. However, she received no reply even after waiting for five months and on May 14, she again sent letters to the three offices in the Vatican.
The letter ends by saying that though she had filed a complaint with the police two months ago, no action was taken against the bishop due to his influence. In this context, she was again seeking the intervention of the Church for getting justice, the letter said.
Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court bench has asked the government about the steps taken by the special investigation group on the case. And the Court also questioned the safety & security of the victim & her fellow sisters who are supporting her case.
The Court also demanded that steps were taken by the police team that went to Jalandhar to question the Bishop.