Thrissur, October 6. Assisi, a church owned magazine, in its latest issue has supported the nuns and openly criticized the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) for the way it handled the issue of protest by nuns in Kochi.
The magazine has come out with cover story “Arikukalude Atmavilakku” (To the soul of the sidelined, roughly translated), has pointed out that the Church’s anxiety to protect the image of the institution has ultimately resulted in eroding its credibility. An article by Mathew Paikada blamed the authorities for ignoring the complaints by the nuns. Action against Sr.Lucy and various statements by the organization did not help matters.
Father Thelakkad, former spokesperson of the Church, said that the Church authorities failed to solve the issue though the complaint by the victim was given several years ago while in Jalandhar. The complaint of the victim to Pro Nuncio of Vatican in New Delhi also did not provide justice. Finally she had to approach the police which led to the arrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal.
Fr. Jijo Kurian, a Capuchian priest, said that the Church authorities used discipline as a tool to silence dissent.
Assisi is a monthly magazine published by the Capuchins of St. Joseph, Kerala province, from Bharananganam.
It appears that nuns do enjoy support within the church though several senior community leaders and politicians are making a beeline to Pala Sub Jail where Bishop Mulakkal is lodged under judicial custody. Bishop of Kanjirapally diocese Mar Mathew Arackal, auxiliary bishop of the diocese Mar Jose Pulickal, archbishop of Changanassery Mar Joseph Perumthotaam, auxiliary bishop of Pathanamthitta diocese Samuel Mar Irenios and auxiliary bishop of Pala Mar Jacob Muricken were some of the Church leaders who called on bishop Mulakkal in the jail.
Politicians who called on bishop Mulakkal in jail include K.M. Mani, P.J. Joseph, both MLAs, Jose K. Mani, MP and Johnny Nellore.
Mulakal was formally arrested on September 21 for alleged charge of rape. Incidentally his arrest came nearly three months after he was first formally accused of rape by the nun.