Nun warned of expulsion for stir against Bishop Franco

Nun warned of expulsion for stir against Bishop Franco

Former Bishop of Jalandhar Franco Mulakkal. Reuters file photo

A nun in North Kerala district Wayanad has been warned of expulsion from the church for taking part in the stir against the former Bishop of Jalandhar Franco Mulakkal who faced sexual allegations from another nun.

Sister Lucy Kalappura of the Mananthavady diocese in Wayanad, part of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation, has been asked by the Superior General Mother Ann Joseph to explain why she spoke to the media and published articles against the church leadership in ‘non-Christian’ newspapers and caused insult to the church. The canonical warning also listed out a set of charges against her and even warned of further actions like expulsion if she failed to give a reasonable explanation by today.

But the 52-year old nun is quite determined on her stand and rejected the notice. "I did not do anything wrong by supporting the nuns who fought for justice, Then why should I been blamed. The entire church should have supported the nuns," Sister Lucy told DH over the phone.

Sister Lucy sent an email message to the Superior General stating that she could not come over owing to the general strike. In September last year, Sister Lucy was banned from church activities after she joined the stir by a group of nuns in front of the Kerala High Court in Kochi seeking action against Franco, who was then the bishop of Jalandhar. But after it snowballed into a major controversy, the church maintained that no ban was imposed on Sister Lucy.

The major charge against sister Lucy, who is a teacher at a church-run school, in the canonical warning issued on January 1 was that she caused insult to the church by making a false accusation against the church leadership by taking part in television discussions and publishing write-ups in a section of the newspaper, including non-Christian newspapers. She was also accused of taking part in the stir without the church’s permission. Other charges were that the sister bought a car and published books without the permission of the church. Sister Lucy received the notice only the other day.

Sister Lucy had been earlier widely abused and threatened on the social media. Though she approached the police, no effective actions were taken. "I just received a letter from the National Women's Commission that my grievances were referred to the Kerala Police. But no further actions," she said.

Interestingly, Franco who was even arrested by the police in the sexual case is still receiving strong backing of the church. Though he was keeping off from the charges of the bishop, he received a rousing reception when he was released on bail after weeks of judicial and police custody.