Kerala nuns allege Franco's role in vengeful transfers

Kerala nuns allege Franco's role in vengeful transfers

Sisters Anupama, Josephine, Alphy, Neena Rose and Ancita thank people who supported them during their protest against rape accused former bishop Franco Mulakkal, in Kochi. (PTI File Photo)

Four nuns from Kerala who led a protest against rape accused former Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal have alleged that Franco is still in control of the affairs of the Church.

The nuns alleged that Franco is behind the vindictive transfer orders issued to them, aimed at sabotaging the case.

Sources said the nuns may move the court seeking cancellation of the bail issued to Franco if the Church initiates further vindictive actions against them.

Representing the four nuns of the St Francis Mission Home at Kottayam district, Sister Anupama said though Franco has been relieved of the pastoral charges after being arrested in the case, the present developments indicate that he is still controlling the affairs of the Church.

She urged the Kerala government to interfere in the matter and help them out. An emotional Sister Anupama also said that the four nuns would stay with the victim at the Kuravilangad convent until the case is over.

The fresh charges comes in the backdrop of a statement issued by the Jalandhar diocese public relations officer Father Peter Kavumpuram, clarifying that the transfer orders issued to the four nuns were valid.

Father Peter, who is said to be a close confidant of Franco, issued the statement after the nuns said at a convention in Kottayam district on Saturday that they got an assurance from the apostolic administrator of Jalandhar diocese, Bishop Angelo Gracias, allowing them to stay at the Kuravilnagad convent till the case was over.

Bishop Angelo gave the assurance to the nuns after the order to transfer them invited widespread criticism.

Meanwhile, the fresh developments have brought to light the differences within the administrators of the Jalandhar diocese.

Sisters Anupama, Alphy, Josephine and Ancitta, who staged protests against Franco last year, were recently transferred to other convents.

Another sister, Neena Rose, who also took part in the stir, was issued a notice by the Church asking her to appear at Jalandhar and give explanation to various charges. The actions have been alleged to be vindictive in nature taken in order to weaken the case against Franco.

The police registered a case against Franco on the charges of raping the nun several times between 2014 and 2016. He was also arrested and later let out on conditional bail.