MUMBAI, India (CNS) — Police have arrested Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar, India, and charged him with the rape of a nun.
The Sept. 21 arrest, reported by the British news agency Reuters, came a day after Pope Francis accepted the bishop’s request to be relieved of his duties during the investigation.
The Indian nun accused the bishop of raping her four years ago and then sexually abusing her multiple times over the following two years. Bishop Mulakkal claims the accusations are baseless and aim to deflate the disciplinary action he had initiated against the nun.
Police in Kerala state interrogated the bishop for seven hours Sept. 19, reported mattersindia.com.
In a letter dated Sept. 20, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, said Bishop Mulakkal would be temporarily relieved of his pastoral duties and that the retired auxiliary of Mumbai, Bishop Agnelo Rufino Gracias, would temporarily serve as apostolic administrator of Jalandhar.
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