Thrissur: Catholic Church published rape-accused Franco Mulakkal's photo in a calendar printed by the ‘Catholicasabha’. It is a mouthpiece of the organisation that comes under the Archdiocese of Thrissur.  

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The former Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal was arrested in connection with the rape of a nun in Kerala. Franco Mulakkal's picture is included in the calendar year 2019, issued by the Catholic. 

The picture of Mulakkal, along with his birthday, is published in the calendar. Mulakkal’s birthday is on March 25. The calendar, which is printed and published every year by the Archdiocese, features 20 prominent bishops. The calendar will be distributed to over 1.5 lakh people in the Thrissur parishes on December 1. 

On September 8, the five nuns had protested in front of the Kochi high court against Franco Mulakkal for raping a nun multiple times between 2014- 2016. The Kerala Police arrested Franco Mulakkal on September 21 on charges of raping a nun of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation in Kottayam. The arrest of the high profile religious leader came 87 days after a nun filed a complaint alleging rape and sexual harassment in Kerala. 

The 2019 calendar, recently printed and published, features the Catholic Church of India’s most controversial Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who is out on conditional bail from the Kerala high court.

ALSO READ: Kerala churches may do away with nuns if protests against Bishop Franco Mulakkal continue

There is a widespread protest against the Catholic church's calendar. The church has not yet announced the willingness to remove Franco Mulakkal from the official duties of the church until the acquittal and this has led to protests among the believers.

The reason told to media for having the picture of Mulakkal in the calendar is that the accused is still a bishop, even though there is a case against him. 

Franco Mulakkal in Punjab has been reportedly stating that the five nuns, who have been levelling accusations against him, would apologise during Christmas. However, another clergy man claimed the rape-accused has pushed the church into trouble with this case.