Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal case: Leaked phone talk reveals Cardinal George Alencherry knew nun’s plight
Cardinal Alencherry had earlier maintained he was unaware of the rape complaint against the Bishop and the nun had only told him about some issues in her diocese.
KOTTAYAM: In a major setback to Syro-Malabar Catholic Church head Cardinal George Alencherry, a leaked phone conversation between him and the nun who raised rape allegation against Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal has revealed the Cardinal knew about the nun’s sufferings at the Jalandhar diocese.
According to the leaked recording, she is heard saying as many as 25 nuns in the congregation were ready to quit and join Syro-Malabar Church, following hardships in Jalandhar. Cardinal Alencherry had earlier maintained he was unaware of the rape complaint against the Bishop and the nun had only told him about some issues in her diocese.
However, the leaked conversation reveals the Cardinal was well-informed about the developments in the diocese, even though the nun did not mention about sexual harassment in particular.
IN the conversation, the nun is heard saying that things were going worse as somebody (presumably the Jalandhar diocese) had filed a police complaint against her in Jalandhar, alleging she had blackmailed a priest named Peter and the police contacted her over phone about the complaint. She got a letter from the Mother General (of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation) asking her to come back to Jalandhar as there was a complaint against her on disobedience and use of abusive words.
The Cardinal is heard directing the nun to approach the Apostolic Nuncio to India in Delhi or the president of Catholic Bishop’s Council of India in Mumbai. When the nun asks Cardinal’s help to get an appointment to meet them, Cardinal Alencherry replies his intervention would reveal he was aware of all the developments.
The nun also told the Cardinal that she has been living with mental pressure for the past four years and she and her colleague Sr Anupama were facing pressure from relatives to file a civil case. The nun tells the Cardinal she also planned to convene a press meet to disclose everything, but did not do it thinking about the reputation of the Church. When the nun expresses her and other nuns’ interest to quit the Jalandhar diocese and join the Syro-Malabar church, the Cardinal is heard advising her to go to their respective homes without defrocking and approach him later. The Cardinal also is heard offering his help to accommodate them in the Syro-Malabar Church, on condition that this should not be disclosed to anyone.
Joint Christian Council demands arrest of priests, Jalandhar bishop Kochi: The Joint Christian Council (JCC) on Thursday came out strongly against the “increasing sexual anarchy among Christian priests”. At a meeting held here, the council blamed the dissolution of religious values in the church hierarchy for the recent sexual abuse scandals.
“The five priests of the Orthodox Church who sexually abused a woman by wielding her confession as a tool to blackmail her, and Bishop Franco Mulakkal who used his power to rape a nun, should be immediately removed from their positions. The churches shouldn’t show reluctance in handing them over to law enforcement agencies,” said the council.