Chandigarh: Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who was temporarily relieved of duties in 2018 after being accused of rape, has now resigned from his post.

According to sources, Vatican announced the decision on Thursday, without giving any further details.

Franco Mulakkal, the controversial bishop of Jalandhar, was appointed bishop of Punjab’s Jalandhar in 2013. He temporarily resigned from the post in 2018 after a nun accused him of raping her several times. However, last year, a local court in Kerala acquitted him in the rape case.

Mulakkal had met the Pope on February 8 this year and this was his first meeting with the Pope after being acquitted by the Kottayam Additional District and Sessions Court in the rape case.

In September 2018, Mulakkal was temporarily relieved of his Jalandhar responsibilities by Pope Francis after he was questioned by the Kerala Police on rape charges levelled by a nun.

Despite being acquitted by a local court in the sensational case, Mulakkal was not given any new responsibility in the church after this. The Vatican had earlier accepted the court’s decision to acquit him of rape charges. However, after Mulakkal’s acquittal, the nun has approached the Kerala High Court against the trial court’s verdict in the case.

Mulakkal was accused of raping the nun several times during his visit to a convent in Kottayam between 2014 and 2016, when he was the bishop of Jalandhar province. The nuns are members of the Missionaries of Jesus, a Diocesan church under the Jalandhar province.

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