Vatican rejects second plea of Kerala nun to revoke expulsion
The Vatican has turned down a second plea of Sister Lucy Kalapura to revoke her expulsion from the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC), an aide of the nun said Sunday.
Kalapura (52) was expelled from the congregation in August last year for “serious indiscipline” but the nun claims she was victimised for supporting the agitation for the arrest of the deposed bishop of Jalandhar, Franco Mullakkal who is facing a rape case.
“She got a communication in this regard late Saturday. The letter was in Latin and it clearly stated that her request was rejected outright. Details will be available once it is translated fully,” said an aide of the nun. But he said the Sister Kalapura will continue her fight against the “corrupt” system prevailing in the Catholic church.
The Vatican had rejected her first plea to revoke her expulsion last November. A local court in Wayanad in December had stayed the FCC action against her. In January she again wrote to Pope Francis. When contacted, a spokesperson of the FCC refused to comment on the issue.
The ‘Save Our Sisters’ forum, an outfit fighting for the reforms in the church, said it will support the nun who is currently staying in a convent in Manthawady in Wayanad. Two weeks ago she had alleged that the convent authorities were depriving her of food to force her out.
“It is pity the church has disowned her again. People who take a stand are often neglected. Lord Jesus was most radical of his times and taught his followers to raise their voice against exploitation and inequality. It is sad church authorities have forgotten these principles,” said Dr Valson Thampu, author and former principal of the prestigious St Stephen’s College in Delhi.
Earlier the nun claimed that her harassment increased after her controversial autobiography was released in December last year. Her autobiography ‘Karthavinte Namathil’ (In the name of Christ), had ruffled many feathers in the Church. The nun has alleged in her autobiography that sexual abuse and assaults take place in convents and seminaries and called for institutional reforms.
She has also alleged in the book that she faced attempts of sexual assault at least four times during her convent life and that many nuns easily succumb to such intimidations. She claimed that some young nuns were subjected to cruel sexual perversions at a priest’s official residence. The nun also alleged that Father Robin Vadakumcherry, who is undergoing double-life term for impregnating a minor girl in Kottiyoor in Kannur, had illicit relation with many nuns.
Sister Kalapura was among the many nuns who staged a sit-in protest in Kochi to demand the arrest of Mullakkal who was accused of rape by one of their colleagues. In June 2018, a 43-year-old nun filed a police complaint alleging that 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.
A special investigation team (SIT) of the Kerala Police arrested Mullakal in September last year after several rounds of questioning. Trial in the case began in a court in Kottayam last month.