By Matters India Reporter
Mananthavady, August 20, 2019: Certain sections of the media are spreading misunderstanding about the disciplinary actions taken against Sister Lucy Kalappura, alleges the Franciscan Clarist Congregation.
“The media should refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of the congregation that spreads misunderstanding and creates unrest in society,” says an undated statement from the Public Relations Officer of the congregation’s Saint Mary’s Province based in Mananthavady in Kerala that was made public on August 20.
The 130-year-old congregation, with headquarters in Kerala’s Aluva, on August 5 dismissed Kalappura accusing her of violating the vows of obedience and poverty.
The 54-year-old nun on August 16 appealed to the Vatican against her dismissal, alleging that the congregation expelled her since she had joined last year a protest against a bishop who had alleged raped a nun.
The congregation says it took the disciplinary action because Kalappura had consistently failed to maintain the necessary dedication and discipline required for a religious life. It also accused her of discarding the values of religious life to live as she pleased.
“As the sole authority to decide on the internal affairs of a religious congregation is its superiors, it is not proper for certain sections of the media to interfere in such matters,” the statement asserts.
It has been observed that the media interferences have been one-sided because they are unable to understand or evaluate properly religious life from a secular perspective, the statement explains.
Such actions are objectionable and condemnable as they malign the image of the religious congregation as well as the Church, the congregation says.
“The FCC congregation is deeply anguished over the baseless allegations spread by vested interests and media debates,” it adds.
The FCC order is the largest religious congregation for women in India with total 7,018 members living in 854 convents spread over 25 provinces and two regions. They work in several states in India and Kenya.
The congregation manages five regular and six parallel colleges, 30 higher secondary and 55 high schools, one training college and 19 special schools for mentally challenged with nine special boarding.
It has 19 hospitals, two hospice, 64 dispensaries, three nursing colleges, six schools of nursing, 17 counseling centers and 61 hostels.
Jesuit Bishop Charles Lavigne of Kottayam vicariate founded the congregation on December 14, 1888, with eight members at Changanacherry. Bishop Lavigne provided them the primary rules and directives to follow a new way of life based on the charism.