Sep 12, 2018: The Diocese of Jalandhar has come out in support of a bishop who is accused of raping a nun in Kerala on multiple occasions between 2014 and 2016. This comes on the same day when the police told the Kerala High Court that their preliminary investigations reveal that the bishop abused his position and raped the nun on multiple occasions.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Diocese of Jalandhar (where the accused bishop is posted) has questioned the nun’s motives and has termed her complaint as vendetta.
Kerala nun rape case: Top 10 developments
1) The Diocese of Jalandhar in a statement has accused the nun of vendetta, saying she targeted the bishop because he reportedly started an investigating against her. The Church body has claimed that the bishop had ordered an internal probe against the nun in 2016 after a woman complained to Church authorities that the nun was having an affair with her husband.
2) In its statement, the Church body has claimed that the bishop was not staying at the Kerala convent on the day (May 5, 2014) when the nun says she was raped for the first time. The body claimed that though the bishop was in Kurivialangad, Kerala, he did not stay at the convent.
3) The statement questions the nun’s complaint by claiming that she was seen "happily talking" to the bishop at a family function a day after and was "arranging lunch" for him. The Church said it has submitted video recording of this to police.
4) The Church has asserted that according to Church rules, a nun can’t meet a man without the presence of two other women. And so, the body declares, it could not have been possible for the nun to have met the bishop 13 times in his room. The statement also questioned why the nun did not approach police when she was first raped.
5) The accused bishop has also claimed that the allegations against him are part of a conspiracy against the Church. "I feel there are people who are against the Church. They are using these sisters. This is a conspiracy and several people are taking advantage of the situation, they are putting sisters at the forefront," the bishop told news agency ANI.
6) Meanwhile, the Kerala Police in an affidavit submitted in the Kerala High Court has said that investigations reveal that the bishop raped the nun on multiple occasions.
"During the course of investigation so far and the available evidences, it is revealed that the accused bishop committed unnatural offence and committed rape repeatedly, on different dates from May 05, 2014 to September 09, 2016, against the will and consent of her [the nun] by abusing his dominance over her as bishop of Jalandhar," the affidavit submitted before the court read. (It apparently had a typo in it and the dates read as May 05, 2018 to September 09, 2016).
7) A high-level meeting today chaired by the Kerala Director General of Police is scheduled today. The police will decide whether the accused bishop should be summoned for questioning in this case. Police sources say the police are likely to give him a week’s time to appear for questioning.
8) On Monday, the Kerala High Court pulled up the state government and the police and asked them to submit a report on the investigation into the case.
9) Nuns in Kerala have been protesting against the police for their alleged laxity in probing the case. They have accused the Church of highhandedness. On Saturday, during a protest the nuns said the Church authorities and the state government have let them down.
10) On Sunday, a seven-time MLA PC George called the rape survivor a prostitute and questioned her motives. "No one has doubt that the nun is a prostitute. Twelve times she enjoyed it and the 13th time it is rape? Why didn’t she complain the first time? (sic)," he said.