Following allegations of failing to act on a nun's complaint against Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal two years ago, Cardinal George Alencherry, the head of Syro Malabar Church, is facing flak.
Following allegations of failing to act on a nun’s complaint against Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal two years ago, Cardinal George Alencherry, the head of Syro Malabar Church, is facing flak. Meanwhile, Franco Mulakkal, the Bishop of of Jalandhar, has been charged with rape and unnatural sex, based on the nun’s complaint. A section of church followers had reportedly filed a petition against Cardinal George Alencherry for allegedly failing to take action on the nun’s complaint.
According to local news reports, the nun had allegedly complained to Cardinal George Alencherry about the Bishop of Jalandhar, Franco Mullakal. Her complaint alleges rape and unnatural sex multiple times by the Bishop of Jalandhar Francoo Mullakal during the years 2014 and 2016. However, the nun reportedly says that the Cardinal took no action for the last two years.
The local TV news channels reported that the Syro Malabar Church, through its sources, made its stand clear. The nun’s complaint has nothing to do with the Syro Malabar Church. The rationale is that given that the Jalandhar Bishop and the nun who has raised the allegations belong to the Latin hierarchy, neither the Syro Malabar Church no the Cardinal can have any jurisdiction over the issue.
The official press release of the Syro Malabar Church states as follows:
1. There are no records of any complaint made by the nun to Cardinal George Alencherry.
2. A nun from Jalandhar had spoke to the Cardinal regarding some transfers and appointments. The Cardinal informed her that the Major Archbishop has no jurisdiction over the matter.
3. The major Archbishop received a letter on 23-11-2017 from the father of a nun in Jalandhar regarding the hardships that the nun is facing. No complaint regarding sexual harassment was mentioned in the aforementioned letter.
Speaking to a Malayalam news channel on July 2, K Ramkumar, senior advocate said, “In cases like this, the problem is that when a victim raises an issue like this against a member of the Christian Sabha, it is wrongly perceived that the Sabha itself is under attack and being targeted. That is not true. The Christian Sabha comprises of eminent and highly respected individuals, not one individual alone. Therefore, it should be rightly understood that an inquiry or criticism against one individual should never be deemed to be an attack on the Christian Sabha. We are all aware of the good, charitable works that are spearheaded by the Christian Sabha. Therefore, an allegation against a member of the Sabha should not be perceived as an attack on the institution of Christian Sabha.”
Advocate Indulekha Joseph, speaking to the Malayalam TV news channel on July 2, stated, “The Christian Sabha, irrespective of which sect the nun belongs to, could have guided her on the next course of action. She approached them for guidance. Even accepting the argument that the Syro Malabar church has no jurisdiction in the matter, the logical course of action is that since she is a nun, they could have told her to file a complaint with the police.”