Kochi: Bishop Franco Mulakkal has been temporarily relieved of his pastoral responsibilities by the Vatican amidst speculations that Franco Mulakkal, the accused in Kerala nun rape case, will be arrested by today or tomorrow. 

Franco’s duties were handed over to former Mumbai Archdiocese Auxiliary Bishop Agnelo Rufino Gracias, who will temporarily be in charge of the position.

Franco had sent his resignation to Pope Francis following the summons notice issued by Kerala police asking him to appear before the investigation team on Wednesday. It has been hinted that the Bishop chose to resign since an arrest is likely following the questioning. 

The Bishop handed over the letter to the Vatican’s representative in New Delhi on Sunday. He had also handed over his responsibilities to another priest before flying to Kerala for investigation. 

People also alleged that he fears that the church leadership may stand against him if gets arrested when he sits as the chief of the diocese. Franco Mulakkal has been accused of rape and unnatural sex with Kerala nun multiple times between 2014 and 2016.