By Matters India Reporter
Wayanad, Jan. 8, 2019: A Catholic nun, who participated in a sit-in for the arrest of a rape-accused bishop, on January 8 received a warning letter with threats of dismissal from her superior general.
Sister Lucy Kalappura, a member of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation, was at the forefront of protests against Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar, who allegedly raped the former superior general of the Missionaries of Jesus.
The warning letter from Sister Kalappura’s superior general, Sister Ann Joseph, accuses her of “attending channel discussions,” writing articles in “non-Christian newspapers” and “making false accusations” against the Catholic leadership.
The canonical warning letter is reportedly seen as an act of retribution against Sister Kalappura for participating in the protests against Bishop Mulakkal in September last year.
The notice also states that it was the first step in expelling her from the Kerala-based congregation.
Sister Kalappura has been asked to appear before the mother superior at the FCC generalate in Aluva, some 25 km north of Kochi, on January 9. The mother superior states that despite repeated attempts, Sister Kalappura had refused to appear before her to discuss the issue.
Sister Kalappura, who teaches at Sacred Heart High school at Dwaraka in Wayanad district, told Kerala television channels that she had no intention of appearing before the mother superior as she felt that she had not done anything wrong. She said that she had sought permission regarding several matters but in vain and that had forced her to take part in the protests.
She admitted that she had participated in the sit-in without her superiors’ permission. “They would not have given permission if I had asked,” she added.
The nun also said that the notice had allegations about a car she had brought for which she had sought permission. As there was no reply from her superiors, he said she had to take decisions.
Sister Kalappura had joined five members of the Missionaries of Jesus, who had staged a sit-in near the Kerala High Court premises in Kochi, demanding the arrest of the alleged tormentor of their former superior general.
However, the Church leaders reportedly viewed the protests as questioning and bypassing their authority.
The bishop, who spent three weeks in the sub-jail at Pala before he got bail on October 15, has been accused of raping the nun several times between 2014 and 2016. Rome has divested the prelate of his pastoral duties of his diocese in the northern Indian state of Punjab. The Missionaries of Jesus is a congregation under the Jalandhar diocese.
The letter to Sister Kalappura, reads, “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. You went to the Ernakulam High Court junction and participated in the protest held by the SOS Action Council on 20-9-2018 without the permission of your superior.”
“You have published articles in some non-Christian newspapers and weeklies like Mangalam and Madhyamam etc gave interviews to Samayam without seeking permission from the provincial superior. Through Facebook, channel discussions and articles you belittled the Catholic leadership by making false accusations against it and tried to bring down the sacraments. You tried to defame FCC also. Your performance through social media as a religious sister was culpable arising grave scandal.”