Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused in the Kerala nun rape case, has recused himself from bishopship. It is believed he has stepped down temporarily in the wake of the ongoing investigation into the rape charges against him.

In a letter, the bishop said, “I am likely to be called for further clarifications by investigating officer in Kerala, appoint Rv, Fr Joseph Thekkumkattil & Rev Fr Subin Thekkedathu.”

Meanwhile, according to ANI, the issue of the Kerala nun rape case was raised in the Vatican on Saturday and it is expected to intervene in the matter soon.

The nun who alleged rape by the Bishop had recently sought urgent intervention of the Vatican for justice and demanded the bishop’s removal as head of the Jalandhar diocese.

The development comes a day after a Jalandhar church, which claims to have conducted an internal investigation in the alleged rape case, came out in support of the bishop saying Bishop Franco Mulakkal was innocent.

The Missionaries of Jesus of Jalandhar had said the nun, who accused the bishop of raping her on multiple occasions, had conspired against him.

“The nun who has complained against the bishop has conspired in connivance with nine others, including five nuns, against the bishop,” the church body said in a statement.

The church added that the nuns had been influenced by some other people to do this.

A Kerala nun has accused Mulakkal of repeatedly sexually abusing her between 2014 and 2016. There are five other nuns of the same congregation who have supported her claim.

An FIR was registered against the bishop and a 114-page detailed statement was taken from the nun and other inmates of the convent.