Acquitted in nun rape case: Pope Francis accepts resignation of Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal

Chandigarh: Franco Mulakkal, who was temporarily relieved from priestly duties in 2018 over rape charges, has resigned as the Bishop of Jalandhar. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of retired Reverend Franco Mulakkal as bishop of Jalandhar. In 2018, Pope Francis released him.
    “Given the still divisive situation about the aforesaid matter in the Diocese of Jalandhar, the resignation has been requested by Rt Rev Mulakkal not as a disciplinary measure for the good of the Diocese which needs a new bishop,” reads the statement by Apostolic Nunciature, India. 
    Earlier, a nun had accused Mulakkal of rape. A court in Kottayam in Kerala had acquitted Mulakkal in the case in January last year. In its order, the court said victim had been changing her statement. In June 2018, the nun had filed a police complaint against Mulakkal, alleging that he sexually abused her between 2014 and 2016. 
The Kottayam police had registered a rape case against Mulakkal in June 2018. Mulakkal was arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the case in September 2018. The trial in the case began in November 2019 and concluded with Mulakkal’s acquittal on January 10. In the case, the nun had approached the Kerala High Court against the lower court’s decision.