By Matters India Reporter
Kochi, August 17, 2019: A Catholic religious congregation in Kerala has asked the mother of an expelled nun to take her back.
The Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC) sent a letter to Rosamma Scaria asking her to receive her daughter Sister Lucy Kalappura, who was dismissed from the congregation on August 5 for allegedly leading a lifestyle inappropriate to her vows and violating the norms of the congregation and the Church.
The letter signed by Sister Jyoti Maria, head of the congregation’s Mananthavady province, was dated August 10, but its contents came to light seven days later, the last day for Sister Kalappura to appeal the Vatican against her dismissal.
Sister Kalappura emailed her appeal to the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Oriental Churches on August 16, a day before the deadline expired.
The letter of expulsion was issued by Sister Ann Joseph, superior general of the 130-year-old indigenous congregation, giving Sister Kalappura ten days to appeal. Sister Joseph claimed Sister Kalappura’s dismissal was endorsed by the Vatican congregation and the apostolic nunciature in New Delhi.
Sister Maria’s letter to Scaria said: “We regret to inform you that Lucy Kalappura, who was a member of the FCC congregation, has been dismissed from the congregation by its superior general. The reason for the dismissal is her continuous violation of the congregation’s rules.”
The letter claims the congregation had brought to Sister Kalappura’s notice about her continuous violation of the vows of poverty and obedience since 2015 and requested her to amend her lifestyle. “However, [Kalappura} was not willing to make the corrections.”
The letter written in Malayalam language lists several violations committed by Sister Kalappura– refusal to accept her transfer order in 2015, publishing a book without permission, buying a car, not giving her salary to the congregation, travel without permission, letting an outsider to stay in her room at night, appearing on television channels without getting her superiors’ permission, violated the congregation’s dress code.
“In case Lucy does not appeal to the Vatican congregation by August 17, you should take her from the convent in Karackamala where she currently resides,” the provincial’s letter demands.
It also says it presumes that Scaria has kept aside Sister Kalappura’s share in the family property. The provincial also says Sister Kalappura would have with her at least 1 million rupees since she had not given her salary to the congregation from December 2017. She would also get a decent amount when she retires from her teaching job in the form of pension and other benefits.
Considering all this, the congregation thinks Sister Kalappura will have financial security to live outside the congregation, the letter says. It also says that congregation would not demand the nun to return the salary she received as a member, although it has a right to do so.
The provincial reminded Scaria that Sister Kalappura had agreed at the time of her perpetual vows that in case she leaves the congregation voluntarily or forced to leave, she would not demand compensation for the services during the time she was a member.
The provincial’s letter agrees to return without interest the patrimony Sister Kalappura gave to the congregation when she joined it.
Sister Kalappura said that the provincial wrote to her 84-year-old mother in an arrogant way. Does provincial superior think that my aged mother should come and take me back home, the nun asked. ‘I haven’t done anything wrong and I stand firm in my stance. That is why I gave an appeal. I wish to continue in the convent,” said Sister Kalappura.
The nun’s native place is at Perumbatta near Chemmarankayam in Kasaragod district of Kerala.