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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Kerala nun who protested against ex-Jalandhar bishop sacked

Sister Lucy Kalapura had published poems, purchased a car and took part in a protest against a rape accused former bishop of Jalandhar diocese.

south Updated: Aug 07, 2019 23:34 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Sister Kalapura said she will move the court after consulting fellow nuns and others.
Sister Kalapura said she will move the court after consulting fellow nuns and others. (HT Photo)
         

A Kerala nun who took part in a protest against former bishop of Jalandhar diocese in connection with a rape case has been expelled by the Franciscan Clarist Congregation for failing to give a satisfactory explanation for her lifestyle in violation of the law of the Congregation.

Sister Lucy Kalapura had published poems, purchased a car and took part in a protest against a rape accused former bishop of Jalandhar diocese.

The congregation, under the Roman Catholic Church, said the nun was issued canonical warnings, but did not show the needed remorse.

The defrocked nun, however, said that the decision to expel her was taken two months back and she was forced to sign papers by the Congregation authorities on Wednesday. Kalapura said she will move court after consulting fellow nuns and others. She said most of the charges raised against her were baseless and she was asked to vacate the convent immediately.

“I was victimised for speaking truth. I will continue my fight. Many nuns are suffering silently. They will come out in coming days,” she said. Two months back, she appeared before the Mother General of the congregation in Aluva (Ernakulam district) to explain her position on show-cause notices issued to her. She had sought police protection to go to the congregation headquarters saying her life was in danger.

Kalapura said she was issued four show-cause notices and she replied to all and appeared before the superior general in persons. She said her struggle was not against the church but against some people who supported injustice and corrupt practices. She has also expressed her desire to meet Pope Francis.

“Some of the charges against me are quite frivolous. One of them is that I bought a car without informing the church and another I appeared in normal dress at a function,” she said, adding the main grouse was that she openly supported the agitation against rape accused Franco Mulakkal.

In June 2018, a 43-year-old nun had filed a police complaint alleging that Mulakkal had sexually assaulted after summoning her on the pretext of discussing an important issue in 2014 and it continued for two more years. Later, she also released a seven-page letter she wrote to the Vatican ambassador in India narrating how her plight was overlooked by church authorities in Kerala.

When police failed to arrest the bishop, five fellow nuns staged a protest in Kochi. Many like Kalapura too joined the stir. Later, a special investigation team was constituted and it arrested Mulakkal in September last year after several rounds of questioning. There were many attempts to intimidate and transfer five nuns who stood with the victim firmly.

The victim and five nuns are now confined to their convent in Kuravilangad in Kottayam. The trail against the deposed bishop has started in Kottayam last month. “Sister Lucy Kalapura was victimised for supporting us. The church authorities are stifling saner voices,” said sister Anupama, who led the stir against Mulakkal.

Franciscan Clarist Congregation refused to comment on Kalapura’s charges.