Bishop Franco Mulakkal continues to live in the Jalandhar bishop's house while maintaining the title as he has not yet been suspended. (Photo supplied)
An Indian bishop, facing court proceedings on charges of raping a nun, has tested positive for Covid-19 on the same day a trial court cancelled his bail and issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against him.Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar diocese in the northern Punjab state "tested positive for Covid-19 as per the medical report," diocesan administrator Bishop Agnelo Gracias told UCA News on July 15.Bishop Mulakkal could be moved "to government facilities, and sanitization of the bishop's house will be done as per the Covid-19 protocols while government officials decide what to do next," Bishop Gracias said.According to the medial report, Bishop Mulakkal was tested positive for Covid-19 on July 13, hours before a court in southern Kerala cancelled his bail application issued an arrest warrant following his continuous failure to appear before the court.On July 13 the bishop's counsel told the court that his client failed to appear on that day because he was under quarantine. State officials asked the bishop to go on quarantine after a lawyer he consulted turned positive, the lawyer told the court.
Police arrested the bishop on Sept. 21, 2018, a fortnight after five nuns of the same congregation as the complainant staged a sit-in in Kochi. He was released on bail three weeks later on Oct. 15.The bishop continues to live in the Jalandhar bishop's house while maintaining the title as he has not yet been suspended. The Vatican has, however, appointed an apostolic administrator to run the diocese.The case has 83 witnesses, including Cardinal George Alencherry, head of the Syro-Malabar Church.