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Regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Kerala Sister who supported ‘raped’ nun sacked

Kerala church cites ‘lifestyle’

K.M. Rakesh Bangalore Published 07.08.19, 09:19 PM
Sister Lucy told reporters from the Wayanad convent on Wednesday that she had “done no wrong” and would fight the “inhuman” dismissal legally.

Sister Lucy told reporters from the Wayanad convent on Wednesday that she had “done no wrong” and would fight the “inhuman” dismissal legally. Telegraph picture

A Kerala church has sacked a nun after she spoke up for a fellow nun who has accused a bishop of raping her.

The Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC) has issued a dismissal order to Sister Lucy Kalapura, a nun at a convent in Wayanad district.

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Dated August 5 and signed by Sister Ann Joseph, superior general of the congregation, the letter informs Sister Lucy that she has been dismissed with the Vatican’s approval and gives her 10 days to appeal.

It says Sister Lucy has been “freed from her religious profession and other obligations and separated from her Religious Congregation, and (is) to be considered dismissed from her religious life and to be considered as a simple lay person”.

It adds that she “did not show the needed remorse and you failed to give satisfactory explanation for your lifestyle in violation of the proper law of the FCC”.

The alleged violations the letter mentions include her act of writing and publishing poems, learning to drive a car and buying one, and supporting the nuns campaigning against Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a fellow nun.

Sister Lucy told reporters from the Wayanad convent on Wednesday that she had “done no wrong” and would fight the “inhuman” dismissal legally.

“This decision is 100 per cent wrong, I shall take legal recourse. Those who love and respect me should come together and think about what to do next,” she said. “I don’t have a place to go after 10 days.”

Sister Lucy had earlier been warned twice against her “lifestyle”, apparently a euphemism for the manner in which she had reacted to issues concerning the Church.

Last September, the Congregation had barred her from teaching the Bible, offering Holy Communion or participating in activities organised by her Mananthavady parish.

Days earlier, Sister Lucy had visited five nuns from the Missionaries of Jesus Congregation who had staged a public protest in Kochi against the lack of proper action against Mulakkal.

Mulakkal had allegedly raped a nun 13 times between 2014 and 2016 at a convent in Kuravilangad, Kottayam. He was arrested but received bail. Stripped of all his duties, he is awaiting trial.

“This is unique. We have never seen a nun or a father (clergyman) getting dismissed like this,” said Shyju Antony, joint convener of the Save Our Sisters Action Council, formed to support the nun who has accused the bishop of rape.

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