IDUKKI: The ‘Indian Currents’ (IC), a weekly magazine owned by the Catholic Church, has come out in open support of Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakal and Orthodox priests in the controversial sex scandals.
The guest column of the latest issue of the IC, published from New Delhi under the patronage of the Capuchins of Krist Jyothi province of North India, questioned the rape charge against the bishop and priests and noted that there were no repeated rapes. However, the irony is that the editorial and main story of the magazine pointed out that women’s safety is a big issue in India. A column, ‘Villains as victims: Why call sex, rape?’ by A J Philip, describes his cordial meetings with the bishop. The magazine also tries to whitewash the accused bishop and priests.
“In the Orthodox Church, an adult person has to confess his/her sins to the priest at least once a year. The story of the woman in question is that she told the priest about her ‘sin’ and it encouraged him to ‘rape’ her. She kept on confessing and the priests kept on ‘raping’ her,” said the columnist. “In Jalandhar issue, assuming that what she says is true, can a person who reached the status of Mother General in her religious order be ‘raped’ 13 times? Did she complain after the first, second, third, fourth and fifth rapes? Forget all of them, did she complain after the 13th rape?” he asked. “Billions of men and women copulate every day for reasons I do not have to explain. This has been happening right from the days of Adam and Eve. But a modern-day Eve finds it convenient to claim that she was raped when she is caught in the act,” noted the columnist.
The magazine points out that a global poll ranks India as the most dangerous country for women. Human trafficking, sexual violence, child marriage, genital mutation and acid attacks are the main issues, it says. “If found guilty, the bishop and priests should be punished. But the complaints of the nun and Orthodox girl were raising some doubts over the rape issue. I have expressed my do- ubts as part of the column. I have no need to whitewash anyone,” the columnist said.
“Rape, no doubt, is a heinous crime. I condemn in unequivocal terms rape of any one, be it a girl, married woman or a nun. But here, it appears to be an accusation by a disgruntled nun. Can a person who has reached the highest position in the congregation remain silent when she is violated 13 times? Why was she unable to raise her voice against the bishop from 2014-2018,” asked IC chief editor Fr Suresh Mathew.