A priest who reportedly organised protests in Kerala after the alleged rape of a nun by Bishop Franco Mulakkal has been warned of ecclesiastical action by the church in case of disobedience.
Father Augustine Vattoly, convenor of ‘Save our Sisters’ campaign was prohibited by the church from holding protests on November 14 against bail given to Bishop Franco.
“I am told that such actions by a priest will seriously injure the good of the Church in public and will cause scandal among the faithful. Therefore, I strongly prohibit you from organizing and attending the said Dharna and similar activities. Disobedience will incur ecclesiastical actions as per norms of Church law,” a letter from Major Archepady of Ernakulam-Angamaly said.
The letter was sent to the priest on November 11, three days before protest outside the state secretariat.
Kerala witnesses massive protests demanding the arrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal.
Days after Bishop Franco Mulakkal returned to Jalandhar after getting conditional bail, Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, a key witness in the Kerala nun rape case was found dead under mysterious circumstances in his personal room in St. Mary’s Church in Dasuya on October 22.
Father Kattuthara, 60, was known for vociferously speaking against Mulakkal.
Father Kuriakose had earlier openly said that he had been getting death threats and that the church officials were tormenting him ever since he testified against Bishop Franco.
Bishop Franco Mulakkal was arrested in Kochi on September 21 after he was accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a nun between 2014 and 2016.
Mulakkal, who heads the Roman Catholic Diocese in Jalandhar in Punjab, is the first bishop in the country to be jailed for rape.
The action came after a nun complained that she was raped 13 times between 2014-16. The crime had occurred at a convent in Kottayam district.
The police in its remand report to a trial court said that Franco Mulakkal came to the convent with the intention of sexually assaulting the victim.