Kerala: Church Warns Nun Who Protested Against Rape-Accused Bishop
The Catholic Church in Kerala has reportedly sent a warning to Sister Lucy Kalapura, a nun who has been the forerunner of the series of protests against rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakal.
Kerala nun threatened with dismissal
The notice has been issued by her congregation for leading a life “against principles of religious life”, for “attending channel discussions”, and writing articles in “non-Christian newspapers”. The Indian Express reported that the warning, which threatened to dismiss her from the congregation, was issued by Sr. Ann Joseph FCC, Superior General of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC).
According to PTI, the nun was asked to provide an explanation to Superior General sister Ann Joseph at Generalate of the Congregation earlier on Wednesday. A letter sent to Sr Kalapura which has been accessed by the daily said, “Your deeds on 20th September 2018 and on the following days were of most grave external scandal and harm to the Church and the FCC.”
“Through Facebook, channel discussions and articles you belittled the Catholic leadership by making false accusations and tried to bring down the sacraments,” it further read. One of the main charges levelled against her was her participation in the protests in September 2018 against the rape-accused Bishop. A slew of other charges has also been raised.
The Week has reported that this is not the first time that Sr Kalapura has received such a treatment from the superiors as in September, she was barred from performing church duties in Wayanad. A similar notice was served to Father Augustine Vattoly, convenor of the ‘Save our Sisters’ (SOS) campaign in November, two months after he rallied against inaction in the rape case.
What had happened?
Three months after the arrest of rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal, the five nuns who were previously rallying for the arrest of the Bishop, have threatened to once again begin a protest if a chargesheet is not filed. According to the nuns, who led a protest against the Bishop, said, that the state government is yet to appoint a public prosecutor as well. The Hindustan Times reported sister Anupama as saying, “We fear a deliberate attempt to weaken the case. If the situation continues like this, we will be forced to hit the streets again.”
It had been previously reported that Bishop Franco Mulakkal, the former head of the diocese of Jalandhar was accused of repeatedly raping a nun of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation in Kerala since 2014. As her plea to the church authorities went unheard, she finally lodged a complaint against the bishop in the month of June 2018. In the month of August 2018, the Bishop was charged under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code following the complaint of the nun. The police failed to arrest him due to lack of evidence.