Under pressure to take a stand and act following the sensational revelations made by a Kerala Nun against Bishop Franco Mulakkal, Pope Francis of Vatican has relieved the Bishop of his duties in Diocese of Jalandhar.
The investigation into the alleged role of Franco began on September 19, and is presently underway. Prior to this, he had written a letter to the Vatican seeking permission to step down. In his letter, Bishop Mulakkal has maintained his innocence, writing, among other things:
Earlier on Thursday, the questioning of Franco Mulakkal in the Kerala Nun rape case entered its second day. He was grilled for hours during his interrogation at crime branch office in Kochi on Wednesday. As per sources, the bishop denied all the charges against him and remained elusive and vague during the course of interrogation on the first day of interrogation. The Police demanded brief answers from the bishop for every question, however, he stated that he could not recollect his exact whereabouts
Prior to this, Republic TV had learnt that the Kottayam police had recorded the statement of senior priest Father James Aerthayil attached to the Kanjirappally diocese of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI), whose conversation with Sister Anupama had stirred up a hornet's nest.
Father James has reportedly confessed to the investigation officer (IO) that he was trying to broker a deal between the companion sisters (who are also witnesses in the case), the complainant nun and the Jalandhar Diocese to drop charges against Bishop Franco Mulakkal.