The Kerala High Court July 7 rejected deposed Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal's plea to quash the charge against him of sexually assaulting a nun. He will face trial July 13 in the town of Kottayam.
Since March 25, the 21-day lockdown, a response to the coronavirus pandemic, has severely restricted the movements and activities of nuns of various congregations, and their more than 1.37 billion countrymen.
In a letter to Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the group of Catholic women in India assert that the rape-accused Bishop Mulakkal's presence at the bishop's house in Jalandhar threatens the case's fair trial.
The Franciscan Clarist congregation has expelled Sr. Lucy Kalappura, one of its members who had questioned the official church's indifference to a nun who says a Catholic bishop raped her. The congregation cited other reasons for expelling Kalappura, such as buying a car without getting the required permission from her superiors and violating other rules.