One of the witnesses against Kerala’s rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal has now accused the clergy of making remarks having sexual overtones through phone calls, messages and video calls, and even touching her inappropriately.
News reports suggest the nun, in her statement, stated she was afraid of the Bishop and of being thrown out of the congregation. According to a NDTV report, the 35-year-old nun gave the statement to police on September 19, 2018, which has now been leaked.
In her statement, according to the report, the nun said she met the Bishop for the first time in 2015 in Bihar, and that she used to talk to him over phone for different needs of the convent.
“We started eventually speaking regularly. From 2015 to 2017 we made calls, we chatted on WhatsApp and made video calls. I initially started calling on behalf of a friend. But from 2015 end, Bishop started talking to be with sexual overtones. That made me feel disgusting, averse and cause mental agony,” the statement read.
But, she said, the Bishop continued to make sexual remarks including “descriptions about his and her body parts”. She claimed she could tell anyone about since he was the Bishop diocese. “Due to fear of the Bishop’s displeasure and being ousted from the church, I did not object,” the statement read.
The 35-year-old nun said in the statement she had a relationship with a person via phone in 2017, as a result of which, she was sent to Kerala as punishment. She said the Bishop came to the convent to meet her on April 30, 2017 to investigate the matter.
“Around 1 am in the night, Bishop called me to his room and made me sit in a chair in his room. He enquired about details regarding the Bihar incident and I explained that to him. Bishop and I spoke for nearly two hours,” the statement read.
“As I was leaving the room, Bishop hugged me and kissed me on the head. I felt disgusted. And next, the Bishop left. After this, despite me calling him many times, he avoided talking saying he was busy. And I stopped calling him,” NDTV quoted her statement.
According to the statement, the nun, who is the 14th witnesses against Mulakkal, said she did not share these incidents with anyone outside since he was the Bishop of the diocese.
Mulakkal, former head of Jalandhar diocese of Roman Catholic Church, is facing charges for wrongful confinement, rape, unnatural sex and criminal intimidation of a nun during the period 2014 and 2016.