Catholic nun Anupama, who had led the protests in Kerala against rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal, was heckled and asked to leave the funeral of priest Kuriakose Kattuthara on Thursday, PTI reported. The priest had deposed against Mulakkal in the case and had supported the protests by the nuns. He was found dead earlier this week.
Several parishioners asked the nun and her colleagues to leave the cemetery at St Mary’s church in Kerala’s Pallipuram, Manorama Online reported. The nun broke into tears and told reporters that she was “deeply hurt” by the protests. “I am from this place,” Anupama said. “I know Father Kattuthara for many years. He has seen me as his own daughter. We have only stood for truth.”
Kuriakose Kattuthara had given a statement to the Kerala Police against Mulakkal and had supported the nuns demanding the bishop’s arrest after one of them accused him of raping her several times between 2014 and 2016. Kattuthara had earlier told Mathrubhumi that he was tortured by the Church officials for his stance, and had said he was under threat.
The priest’s family, on Tuesday, filed a complaint with Punjab’s Dasuya Police claiming that the prosecution witness was harassed mentally and physically at Mulakkal’s behest. Katttuthara was found dead in his room in the premises of St Paul’s Convent School in Jalandhar on October 22.
He had age-related ailments, but the cause of his death is yet to be ascertained, Mathrubhumi had reported.
Soon after Kattuthara’s death, Anupama told The News Minute: “He was a crucial witness in our case as he had given statements against Bishop Franco to the police. I haven’t been in touch with him but I had heard from other priests that he had been facing a lot of pressure of late, with many in the church pointing fingers at him. We feel the circumstances of his death are suspicious and may affect our case against Bishop Franco.”