Jalandhar diocese Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who has been accused of rape by a nun, has stepped down from the administrative responsibilities but will continue to remain as Bishop, reports said on Saturday. Meanwhile, Fr Joseph Thekkumkattil and Fr Subin Thekkedathu have been given temporary charge but the administrative rule of a three-member panel will be imposed in the diocese. The Bishop will be leaving for Kerala soon as he is likely to be questioned by an investigation team on Wednesday.

Bishop Mulakkal in a letter stated, ‘I am likely to be called for further clarifications by investigating officer in Kerala, appoint Rv, Fr Joseph Thekkumkattil and Rev Fr Subin Thekkedathu.’

The inquiry commission instated by Missionaries of Jesus, a Church in Jalandhar, continued its all-out attack against the rape victim nun on Friday and sided with the accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal. In a bid to discredit the version of the Kerala nun, the commission released a picture in which she is sitting right next to the Jalandhar Bishop.

The nuns in Kochi, who are demanding the arrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal, have welcomed by the move. However, they have made it clear that their protests will continue. Meanwhile, BJP workers have stage protest outside Kerala secretariat demanding action against Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal.

According to reports, Bishop Franco Mulakkal has been brought to the notice of the Vatican. Currently, the church representative from India is in Vatican to discuss the issue and is expecting intervention in the coming days.

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