Accused rape bishop Franco Mulakkal’s resignation is accepted by the pope.
The resignation of an Indian bishop who is alleged to have raped a nun between 2014 and 2016 has been accepted, according to the Vatican.
The 54-year-old Franco Mulakkal served as the bishop of Punjab’s Jalandhar.
A trial court in Kerala state last year ruled Mulakkal, who had refuted the accusations, not guilty.
The high court in Kerala has accepted an appeal against Mulakkal’s acquittal, according to the diplomatic representative of the Vatican in India.
Mulakkal announced his resignation on Thursday and thanked his fans for sticking by him during his trying times.
The Vatican’s diplomatic representative said in a statement that Mulakkal’s resignation was sought “for the good of the Jalandhar diocese” and to make room for a new bishop” due to the “still contentious situation” and according to The Times of India.
Mulakkal was not the target of disciplinary proceedings, he claimed.
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A coalition of Christian organizations called the Joint Christian Council hailed the choice.
The missionary order in Kerala that is a member of the Jalandhar diocese is where the nun who accused Mulakkal of rape belonged.
She said that the bishop had assaulted her 13 times when visiting the convent where she resided in the Keralan city of Kottayam.
In 2018, she petitioned the Vatican and stated that her open letter to the Pope’s envoy in the Indian capital of Delhi was her fourth communication to them.
Nuns and activists who came out in support of the woman staged previously unheard-of rallies in response to this.
Other nuns who protested the bishop were said to have accused the Vatican and the Keralan church of covering up the rape allegations.
In 2018, Mulakkal was detained in Kerala. The bishop’s obligations had been temporarily lifted by the Vatican.
The nun’s attorneys had stated they would appeal the decision at the top court in 2022, following the trial court’s acquittal of him.