In India, charges against a Catholic bishop a victory for abused nuns

webRNS-India-Bishop2-050119Source: Religion News Service

By Brooke Thames

KOCHI, India (RNS) — In the dirt courtyard of St. Teresa’s Women’s College, in this port city in the southern Indian state of Kerala, a group of nuns cast curious glances toward a knot of chatty first-year students huddled together. The young women are mindful not to speak too loud, lest the sisters overhear the topic of their conversation — the alleged rape of a nun by the bishop who oversees a local religious order.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal, a native of Kerala, an enclave of Christians in predominantly Hindu India, is accused of attacking the nun nine times between 2014 and 2016.

What has made the charge of rape more shocking is the Catholic Church’s silence about the allegations. 

“Clergy are to be respected no matter how bad,” said 17-year old Catherine, who asked that her last name not be used. “Whatever they do, it must be covered up by the church.”

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