#KeralaNunRape: Church calls for media boycott, alleges anti-Church conspiracy
With the Kerala nun rape case having received significant coverage in the media, Catholicsabha, the mouthpiece of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Kerala, has hit out at the media. In an article, the online publication called on its faithful to boycott certain sections of the media for having run a 'false campaign' against the Church. Here are the details.
Earlier this year, a nun from the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Kerala alleged that Bishop Franco Mulakkal from the Church had raped her over 13 times over the past two years. The nun alleged that she had informed the church authorities about the rape, but no action had been taken. Left with no alternative, the victim had then approached the police.
Once the case became public, the Church's inaction against Bishop Franco sparked a nationwide outrage. The nun's colleagues, too, took out protests in support of her, and the case received significant media attention. Subsequently, with pressure mounting, police arrested Bishop Franco. However, he denied all charges, and was later released on bail. Upon his return to Jaladhar, Bishop Franco had received a hero's welcome.
"I feel there are people who are against the church, they are using these sisters. This is a conspiracy and several people are taking advantage of the situation, they are putting sisters at the forefront," Bishop Franco had said earlier.
Hitting back at the media, Catholicsabha accused certain media houses of portraying the Church in poor light, belittling its leadership, and hurting the sentiments of followers. In particular, Catholicsabha criticized the media's critical stance on its decision to release a calendar with Bishop Franco's photo in it. The media had decried the move, but the Church maintained that Franco was innocent till proven guilty.
"Bishop Dr Franco Mulakkal is an accused. Away from his duties, he's still a Bishop. That status will continue until the courts and the church mechanisms find him guilty. That's why the Catholic church included his photograph in the calendar," wrote the publication.
Taking a further dig at the media, Catholicsabha accused news media publications of having their own "political, financial and religious" agendas. It further said that the business of media houses is to "please the majority community", and that TV and news media are part of a conspiracy against the Catholic Church and hence engage in activities aimed at hurting the Church's reputation.
"Media has made it a business to defame others' sentiments to please the majority community. By mocking beliefs and the sacraments, the media's main agenda is to insult the Church organisations and it's leadership," said Catholicsabha, alleging conspiracy.