Bishop in India Charged with Rape, SNAP Reacts
We are deeply grateful that Indian law enforcement are formally charging a bishop with raping a nun. It is rare that a top Catholic official faces criminal charges, so this is a significant step forward towards a safer church and society for all. We hope Bishop Franco Mullakkal faces trial soon.
We also hope that these charges provide a moment of vindication for the brave nun who reported the rape and for her brave colleagues who have rallied around her. We are also hopeful that this news will encourage others who saw, suspected or suffered his wrongdoing to come forward.
According to one news source “There were many attempts to silence witnesses in the case, and some nuns who deposed against him were threatened with expulsion. Later, the High Court had ordered protection to main witnesses. One of the witnesses in the case, Sister Lucy said she was confined to illegal custody and threatened to be locked up in a mental asylum.”
Intimidation of witnesses and secrecy are major reasons that abuse is able to thrive in the shadows. This horrific behavior serves no one but the abuser and ought to be met with reprimand and punishment, by both secular and Church authorities.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)