Father Kuriakose Kattuthara (62-yrs-old) was found dead on Monday morning in his room dead in St. Mary’s Church in Dasuya in Jalandhar.
He was a strong supporter of the nun who registered the comp in the sexual assault case against Bishop Franco Mulakkal who was alleged to have raped a nun 13 times between 2014-2016 years.
After making his statement to the police, he told his family that he feared that he “would be a dead man if the accused was granted bail”. (click here)
Fr Kuriakose had said:
“The sisters had approached me complaining about Bishop Franco. They did not approach the Kerala police fearing the bishop. In fact, I fear what will happen to me for speaking out against him.” (click here)
The exact cause of his death is not known. Father Kuriakose’s family and other witnesses in the case suspect his death was neither accidental nor of natural causes.
They have requested “testing of fluids… to make clear” what happened, presumable to determine if there was poison involved. (click here)
The Kerala High Court had granted the accused Bishop bail on 15th October and he was told that he did not have to check in with the investigating officer for two weeks.
Following Fr Kattuthara’s mysterious death Kerala police questioned Bishop Mulakkal for only twenty minutes before letting him go. (click here)
Sister Anupama, who led the nuns’ protests against the Bishop was heckled at their advocate’s funeral. Her father filed a complaint against the reported instigator church trustee Tomy Ulahannan to Vicar Fr Jose Ozhalakkat, demanding his lose his position.
At a meeting between her father Varghese and Tony Ulahannan at Pallipuram Church organized by the Vicar, the trustee was said to have apologised to Varghese and Sister Anupama for his behaviour. (click here)
The Catholic News Agency reports that the diocese will not fund his defence on criminal charges (click here) However the people of the diocese has come out in support of the Bishop (click here) Even going so far as to shower him with rose petals and garland him upon his return to Jalandhar on 17h October.
Wilson Chowdhry said:
“We must do everything we can to support our sisters who find themselves the targets of sexual harassment and assault. There is clearly an imbalance of power in many of the circumstance that lead to these instances of abuse that raise concerns for Christians worldwide.
“I hope that people of conscience will continue to have courage to stand up and do what is right and it is a great loss when we lose people willing to do so.”
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