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Kerala nun, who protested against Mullakkal, expelled

Sister Lucy said the decision to expel her had been taken two months ago and she was forced to sign papers to the effect by the FCC on Wednesday.

south Updated: Aug 08, 2019 01:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
The Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC) of the Catholic Church
The Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC) of the Catholic Church(HT Photo)

The Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC) of the Catholic Churchon Wednesdayexpelled Sister Lucy Kalapura, who supported the campaign for the arrest of the deposed bishop of Jalandhar, Franco Mullakkal, who had been accused of rape by a nun.

Sister Lucy said the decision to expel her had been taken two months ago and she was forced to sign papersto the effectby the FCC on Wednesday. She said she would move a court after consulting fellow nuns and others, describing as baseless the charges levelled against her. She said she had been 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 ago, she had appeared before the Mother General of FCC c 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’s headquarters ,saying her life was in danger.

The nuns said she was issued four show-cause notices and she replied to all and appeared before the superior general in person. She said she would remain a nun always, saying 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 {that} I appeared in {a} normal dress in a function,” she said, adding that her support for the campaign against Franco Mullakkal seemed to be the main motivation .

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

When police failed to arrest the bishop, five fellow nuns staged a sit-in protest in Kochi. Many like Kalapura joined the protest. Later, a special investigation team was formed and it arrested Mullakal in September after several rounds of questioning.

The complainant against Mullakal and the five nuns have been confined to their convent in Kuravilangad in Kottayam. The trial of the deposed bishop started in Kottayam last month.

“Sister Lucy Kalapura was vicitmised for supporting us. Sad, church authorities are stifling saner voices,” said Sister Anupama who led the campaign against Mullakal.

FCC declined to comment on Sister Lucy’s charges when reached by HT.

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