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Expelled Kerala Nun Who Participated in Protest Against Tainted Bishop Moves Vatican

Rape-accused Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal.

Rape-accused Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal. (Twitter/ANI)

Sister Lucy Kalappura, who took part in a protest against former bishop of Jalandhar diocese in connection with a rape case, was expelled by the Franciscan Clarist Congregation earlier this month.

Thiruvananthapuram: A nun from Kerala who was expelled by her congregation on disciplinary grounds has filed an appeal before the Vatican against the decision.

Sister Lucy Kalappura appealed against the Franciscan Clarist Congregation’s move even as the latter tightened its stance by issuing a letter to her family to take her back home.

The nun, who had taken part in in the protests against rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal, urged for a reconsideration and recall of the decree of dismissal. She said the sole reason for the action meted out to her was for showing solidarity with the sisters of Missionaries of Jesus who were seeking justice and arrest of the former bishop of Jalandhar diocese.

In her letter that was sent to the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in the Vatican through the Nuntiature in New Delhi, Sister lucy wrote, “I had only discharged my duty and obligation to console and lend a helping hand to those hapless sisters who had to undergo such trauma in their evangelical journey. This has been misunderstood and misinterpreted as an act of rebellion.”

“As I was pained by the plight of the rape survivor and her supporters, I pledged my support to them in response to my conscience according to the teachings of Jesus. The motive behind supporting them was not in any way a challenge to my superiors or Catholic church hierarchy. I sincerely believed that unless the truth comes out, it will damage the image of both nuns and priests. This would help avoid eroding the faith of the people in the Catholic church and its royal priesthood,” she further wrote.

Meanwhile, the congregation wrote to Sister Lucy’s family members and asked them to take her home as she was expelled. In the letter dated August 10, the Congregation cited multiple reasons for the expulsion some of which are willful disobedience, publishing a book, giving interviews to the media, learning to drive and obtaining a licence for the same, buying a car, violating vow of poverty and dress-code violations.

It also said that she was not giving her salary to the congregation and letting a person stay in her room overnight. The letter further stated that though the congregation had the rights over her salary until she is expelled, the church was not raising any claims for the same.

Sister Lucy said that as she had filed an appeal, she would continue to stay at the convent and look for legal recourse.