Kerala church case: CMI priest asked to step down

Kottayam: Father James Erthayil of Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI) Congregation has been asked to step down after an audio clip of his conversation with a nun went viral. Father James was heard offering land, building, and safety to the Kerala-based nun, in exchange for withdrawing the rape complaint against Father Franco Mullackal, the Bishop of Jalandhar diocese. “If needed we can buy some land and build a convent and shift all of you to a safe location,” Father James was heard saying in the viral audio clip.

“If you can think in that positive aspect, I will do whatever I can. I am not saying that I can do everything, but will do whatever possible. So the idea is to buy some land and build a convenient building and shift you to that safety,” he added.

Father Mullackal, the Bishop of Jalandhar diocese, has been accused of raping and having unnatural sex multiple times with a nun in a small region in Kottayam between 2014 and 2016.
While narrating her ordeal to the district police chief, the nun said that she was raped around 13 times over a span of two years.

She had first filed a complaint with Syro-Malabar Church head Cardinal George Alancherry but claimed that he refused to take any stringent action on the matter.
Further investigation is underway.

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