Kottayam:  Kerala churches may soon do away with nuns if they continue their protests against rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal, with a Catholic body warning that they would launch a counter-protest for the nuns' removal from the convent.   

"If the Save Our Sisters (SOS) begins the second phase of protest against the Catholic church, then we will launch our protest to remove the nuns from the convent," Catholic Federation of India president PP Joseph said. He added that the nuns have the support of extremist groups.

The Kerala police arrested Jalandhar diocese bishop Franco Mulakkal on September 21 on charges of raping a nun of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation in Kottayam. 

Bishop Mulakkal is accused of raping a nun as many as 13 times. The senior Catholic priest is facing allegations of raping the nun repeatedly between 2014 and 2016 and was arrested in Tripunithura on September 21 after three days of questioning. 

Five nuns had protested near the Kerala high court at Kochi for 13 days, demanding the arrest of the bishop.

The federation alleged that the nuns are illegally staying at the Missionaries of Jesus convent in Kuravilangad. The SOS is planning to launch their second protest against Franco Mulakkal. SOS members allege that the Church authorities are trying to demolish the case against Bishop Mulakkal.

Also read: Kerala nun rape: National Women’s Commission summons MLA PC George for third time