Police summons Catholic church bishop Franco accused of raping nun in Kerala

Nuns protest in Kochi against delay in action against Catholic church Bishop Mullakal Franco. Photograph:( PTI )

WION Web Team Kerala, India Sep 12, 2018, 05.24 PM (IST)

Kerala police has ordered Bishop Mullakal Franco to appear before it in connection with the alleged rape of a nun, inspector General of police Vijay Sakhare said.

Also Read: Kerala nun who alleged rape by bishop writes to the Vatican

The police has asked Bishop Franco to appear on September 19th.

The nun had petitioned the Vatican representative in India alleging that Bishop Franco had repeatedly raped her.

The nun alleged that the clergyman was using “political and money power” to bury the case, and sought his removal from the post.

The decision to summon the clergyman was taken after a meeting chaired by Sakhare, IG (Ernakulam range), which was also attended by Kottayam District Superintendent of Police Harisankar and Vaikom Deputy Superintendent of Police K Subhash amid mounting pressure on police to initiate action against Mullakal.

The nun had questioned why the church was "closing its eyes to the truth" when she mustered courage to make public her sufferings. She had accused the clergyman of sexually assaulting her repeatedly between 2014 and 2016.

The bishop had, however, dismissed the allegations as "baseless and concocted", insisting she levelled those as the Catholic order had rejected her demand for favours.