- Bishops are among the most powerful people in the Church hierarchy, with all power over a diocese vested in them.
- Only the Pope has the power to defrock—remove from office and dismiss from holy orders—a Catholic bishop.
- Franco Mulakkal is the third bishop of Jalandhar, which was elevated to the status of diocese in 1971.
The episcopal throne is a sturdy thing; to topple it is no simple task. The ongoing ignominy surrounding a nun’s claim that she was raped by the Latin Catholic (Syro-Malabar Church) bishop of Jalandhar, Franco Mulakkal, 54, has seen little progress in the criminal investigation and no internal inquiry or disciplinary proceedings initiated by the Church—amid rumours and accusations of political and monetary muscle being flexed and ranks being closed—and denials and counter-accusations from the alleged perpetrator, while a group of fellow nuns protest bearing red-lettered placards.