Thiruvananthapuram, July 30: The family of a Kerala-based nun has alleged that a priest called up to offer land and even a better posting if she withdrew her rape complaint against a Bishop, said media reports on Monday. A purported audio conversation between the two has surfaced, leading to reports that there has been an attempt of compromise. (Also read: Husband of Victim Wants Priests Dismissed) Also Read - Cyclone Burevi Races Towards Tamil Nadu, Kerala; to Make Landfall in Sri Lanka Today
The call was reportedly made to a friend of the complainant and is now being investigated by the police. audio of the alleged phone call to a nun who has stood by the rape survivor has been leaked and is being investigated by the police. In her complaint to Kottayam district police, the 46-year-old nun had alleged that Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mullackal sexually abused her multiple times between 2014 and 2016. She went to the police only after the Bishop filed a complaint against her and five others, accusing them of threatening and blackmailing him. The nun had claimed that she had raised the issue with the church authorities first but when no action was taken, she turned to the police. Also Read - Churches in Mumbai to Restart Sunday Mass For Public From November 29 With COVID-19 Protocols
In the audiotape, a man who introduces him as a Kerala priest can be heard mediating with the victim’s friend, who is also a nun, on the bishop’s behalf. He can be heard trying to convince the friend to ask the nun to withdraw her complaint. He goes on to suggest that the Jalandhar diocese, where the accused bishop is posted, would be willing to help them if they withdrew the case. He can be heard offering land, building, safety and a better ‘posting’ in return. Also Read - Kerala Govt Decides to Bring Out Ordinance to Withdraw Amendment to Kerala Police Act
“If you all are adamant on your stand, this won’t happen. If you withdraw your complaint and go to one of your convents in Odisha, Andhra, threats may arise. But if you move independently and go under some other Bishop, there won’t be any threats…I can’t do everything…we can buy some land, build a house, shift them. They will support. I suggested this because they have said they will support,” he can be heard saying.
The nun asks who will “support” the family, the Jalandhar Diocese? He answers with a “yes”. The nun refuses the offer and tells him they won’t withdraw any case. “We must get justice. We don’t desire to lose any life, or sell our dignity,” she says. According to NDTV, the complainant’s family said, “We have been waiting for justice from the church. We are not worried about the lives of our children. When someone becomes a nun or priest, they are willing to lay down everything for Christ. But there are many Judas’ in the church, ready to betray Christ and people.”