Police in Kerala, India, arrested a bishop yesterday, for allegedly raping a nun several times between 2014 and 2016.
Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar Diocese is the first Indian Catholic bishop to be arrested in a case of sexual abuse against a nun.
The bishop's arrest came after three days of questioning, during which he made 'a few inconsistent statements.' police said.
A group of nuns together with the Joint Christian Council have held several protests calling for the immediate arrest of the Bishop.
Journalists who have been investigating the case for months say they were assaulted by staff at the bishop's office.
On Thursday, the Archbishop of Mumbai, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India issued a statement announcing the appointment of auxiliary bishop emeritus Agnelo Gracias, 79, as administrator of the archdiocese.
In a statement he said: 'The Holy Father has received the request of Bishop Franco Mulakkal to be temporarily relieved of his pastoral responsibilities in the diocese of Jalandhar. Having considered all circumstances the Holy Father has accepted this request of Bishop Mulakkal and has appointed Bishop Agnelo Rufino Gracias, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Bombay as Apostolic Administrator of the diocese of Jalandhar, sede plena et ad mutum Sanctae Sedis with immediate effect.
Our prayers accompany Bishop Gracias as he takes on this responsibility.'
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