Kottayam: The Church will take action against Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal if the charges raised against him by a nun are found true. "The decision will be taken by Pope Francis after a proper inquiry into the issue is completed," according to Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay.
Cardinal Gracias, who is also president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) and the Conference of the Catholic Bishops of India(CCBI), told this newspaper over phone from Mumbai that the Conference of the Catholic Bishops of India will inquire into the issue if the Apostolic Nuncio of Vatican to India, Giambattista Diquattro, does not do it. The Conference of the Catholic Bishops of India has the authority since the bishop comes under the Latin rite.
"I am not aware whether the nuncio has started an inquiry. There will be no parallel inquiry by the Conference of the Catholic Bishops of India. We will coordinate the matter to get justice done," he said.
"The Church stands for justice and it wants to help the nun, who is the victim. We are compassionate towards her. There will be an inquiry and the nature of the inquiry will be decided after communicating with the nuncio," he said.
Maintaining that the Church was on the defensive after the allegation came out,
Cardinal Gracias said that he had notinformed Pope Francis about it though he was with the Pope for some time. The cardinal reached Mumbai only a few days ago.
The nun belonging to the Missionaries of Jesus congregation had not informed the cardinal of the incident and he was not fully aware of it except from media reports.Responding to the complaint filed by the nun to the prefect of the Congregation of Faith in Vatican, he said that the congregation will inform the Pope.
Cardinal Gracias is a member of the Council of Cardinals (C9), the group of nine cardinals chosen by Pope Francis to advise him on his reform efforts.
Probe team to question couple
The team investigating the sexual harassment allegation against Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal will question a couple in Delhi over the complaint that the nun had an affair with the woman's husband.
They will come to Kottayam before Sunday to give their statement, Vaikom DySP K. Subhash told Deccan Chronicle. If they fail to come, the team will go to Delhi and meet them.
On Wednesday, the police took the statement of the brother of the nun on the allegation that the bishop had offered Rs 5 crore for withdrawing the case. The DySP said that the brother, who is a priest, had given a statement to that effect.
The team will go to Jalandhar to interrogate the bishop after discussing with the higher officials, Mr Subhash added....