An Indian courtroom acquitted a Roman Catholic bishop of prices of raping a nun in her rural convent, amid sexual harassment claims.
An Indian courtroom acquitted a Roman Catholic bishop of prices of raping a nun in her rural convent, a case that turned a significant subject amid allegations of sexual harassment within the church.
Classes Choose G Gopakumar in a short order stated on Friday the bishop was not responsible of prices that he repeatedly raped the nun between 2014 and 2016.
Bishop Franco Mulakkal was current within the courtroom in Kottayam, a southern Indian metropolis. Supporters cheered and chanted “Reward the Lord” as he left the courtroom.
The detailed judgement is prone to grow to be out there later Friday.
The prosecution, representing the nun, will enchantment the decision, stated lawyer Sandhya Raju.
Virginia Saldanha, former government secretary of the Fee for Ladies of the Catholic Bishops Convention of India, stated she was shocked by the decision.
“My first thought was that misogyny within the church has received. The decision reinforces the concept a strong man can’t be dropped at justice,” she stated.
Police charged Mulakkal with rape, unlawful confinement and intimidation of the nun. She stated she went to police solely after complaining repeatedly to church authorities. Ultimately, a bunch of fellow nuns launched unprecedented public protests to demand Mulakkal’s arrest in 2018. He was detained however launched on bail after a number of weeks.
The nuns had additionally written to the Vatican, asking it to intervene within the matter. Their agitation made nationwide headlines and cut up the tiny Christian minority in Hindu-majority India, the place they make up 2.3 p.c of the inhabitants in accordance with census figures.
Mulakkal was the official patron of the nun’s group, the Missionaries of Jesus, and wielded immense affect over its budgets and job assignments.
Mulakkal denied the accusations, calling them “baseless and concocted,” and saying the accusing nun tried to stress him to get a greater job.
The nun in her grievance accused Mulakkal, who on the time was bishop of the Jalandhar Diocese within the northern state of Punjab, of raping her a number of occasions throughout his visits to her convent in Kuravilangad in Kerala state.
Kerala is taken into account the birthplace of Christianity in India, with the apostle Thomas believed to have landed there in 52 CE.
Sister Anupama, who led the marketing campaign in help of the nun, stated she would proceed the battle for her colleague.
“We didn’t get the anticipated justice from the judiciary,” the Press Belief of India information company quoted her as saying.
B Raman Pillai, the bishop’s lawyer, advised reporters that “the prosecution case was very weak and investigation very poor.”
Whereas the Catholic church has been embroiled in a sequence of sexual abuse scandals world wide, Mulakkal was its first Indian priest to go on trial.
In February 2019, Pope Francis for the primary time publicly acknowledged the sexual abuse of nuns by clergymen and bishops and promised to confront the issue.