The Catholic Church in India is facing a trying time, with a growing protest movement in response to allegations of sexual assault by clergymen.
In June, police in the southern Indian state of Kerala registered a case against the bishop of Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, in the northern state of Punjab.
A nun had alleged that the bishop, Franko Mulakkal, had raped her repeatedly between 2014 and 2016 at a convent in Kerala.
The nun is a member of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation based in Jalandhar.
The bishop was arrested but then released from prison on October 15 on bail on the condition that he presents himself in the police station once every fortnight.
Five nuns of the same congregation have come out in support of the complainant. Six of them live in a convent in Kerala, under police protection.
A few weeks before the case involving Mulakkal, in a separate incident, Kerala’s Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church set up a panel of lawyers and priests to investigate allegations of sexual abuse by a woman from Thiruvalla, a town in Kerala.
She accused five priests of using her confession to blackmail and sexually abuse her for several years.
“We intend to clean up the system and also seek justice to the nuns who have been wronged,” said Father Augustine Vattoly of Eranakulam, Kerala.