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Pope accepts resignation of India bishop accused of rape

Pope accepts resignation of India bishop accused of rape
Pope Francis kisses a baby during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, 19 October 2022. EPA-EFE/MAURIZIO BRAMBATTI

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Franco Mulakkal as bishop of Jalandhar in northern India, who was acquitted last year of repeatedly raping a nun over a two year period.

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Franco Mulakkal as bishop of Jalandhar in northern India, who was acquitted last year of repeatedly raping a nun over a two year period.

The Vatican announced the decision on Thursday, without giving any further information.

Mulakkal, 59, was appointed bishop of the Diocese of Jalandhar, in Punjab state, in 2013. He stepped down temporarily from the post in 2018 when he was accused by a nun of raping her multiple times.

A court acquitted him in January 2022, but both the investigating officer and the nun have appealed the verdict.

Indian media said Pope Francis met Mulakkal in February, but the Vatican gave no information about the encounter.

Bishops traditionally hand in their resignation when they turn 75.

(Reporting by Crispian BalmerEditing by Ros Russell)

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