Jalandhar: Bishop Franco Mulakkal, of the Jalandhar diocese, accused of raping a Kerala nun, has written a letter to the Pope seeking permission to temporarily step down from the responsibilities of the diocese.
In his letter to the Pope on September 16, Bishop Mulakkal mentioned that he is taking this step as he needs time to concentrate on the police case against him following allegations.
He also stated that he will have to spend more time in connection with the case and will also have to travel to Kerala several times.
Amid mounting pressure to initiate action against Bishop Mulakkal, Kottayam Police has summoned him for interrogation over his alleged involvement in raping and having unnatural sex with a Kerala nun repeatedly between 2014 and 2016.
The nun, in her late 40s, has also sought immediate intervention of the Vatican for justice and demanded removal of Bishop Mulakkal.
The nun has questioned why the church was "closing its eyes to the truth" when she had mustered courage to make her case public. She alleged that Bishop Mulakkal was using "political and money power" to "bury" the case against him.
The bishop however, has said there were "several contradictions" in the evidences collected by the police against him. "I leave everything into the hand of God as I await the result of the findings of the team probing the allegation," he said in a note to the diocese. Earlier he had dismissed the nun's allegations as "baseless and concocted", insisting she levelled those as the catholic order had rejected her demand for "favours."
Bishop Mulakkal last week had handed over his administrative responsibility of Jalandhar diocese to a senior priest.