Indian Catholic nuns protest against bishop accused of rape

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"We are ready to go to any extent for ensuring justice to our sister", a nun said addressing the protesters gathered here.

George Joseph, the president of the Joint Christian Council, one of the groups organising the protests, accused senior politicians and church leaders of interfering in the case.

Unlike the rest of India, where Christianity remains a minority religion practiced by just 2.3% of the total population, Kerala is home to a sizable Christian community that dates back hundreds of years.

In her lengthy letter, the nun also sought to explain her silence before coming out against the bishop and said she had "tremendous fear and shame" and wondered why the church was "closing its eyes to the truth".

The complaint filed was that the bishop raped and assaulted the nun for two years since 2014 May.

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Indian Catholic sisters have broken ranks with the church by openly protesting in the streets of the Kerala state capital against a bishop accused of raping a nun. "Now, we pin our hopes on the judiciary", said a nun who did not want to be named, UCAN news reports.

Denying the allegations, the bishop responded with accusations the nun was retaliating against him for investigating rumors she had broken her vow of chastity. The nun wondered why the Church was closing its eyes to the "truth when I have mustered courage".

Copies of the letter were sent to 21 others, including Cardinal Oswald Gracias and Delhi Metropolitan Archbishop, Anil Couto. Police have questioned him on August 13 but failed to arrest him and to any further probe in the matter. One of the nuns, while slamming the police's inaction in nabbing the accused said, "The police have repeatedly taken the statement of the victim nun, but they have taken Franco Mulakkal's statement only once. I am a law abiding citizen", the Bishop told television channels in Jalandhar.

Terming the language used by the MLA as "deeply disturbing", NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma said the Commission seriously condemns "such objectionable and derogatory statements made by a person who occupies responsible position in the society". They took her statement too and there were contradictions.

The priest also hit out at those protesting against him. "This is a time of crisis.I am going through painful agony.I tell everyone to pray to God.let the truth prevail", he said.

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