Dismissal warning for nun protesting Bishop Franco

Dismissal warning for nun protesting Bishop Franco

Rape accused former Bishop Franco Mulakkal being escorted by police. Reuters file photo.

The Catholic church in Kerala has issued a dismissal warning to a nun who took part in a protest against rape accused former bishop Franco Mulakkal.

Sister Lucy Kalappura of the Mananthavady diocese in Wayanad district in north Kerala, part of the Fransician Clarist Congregation, is facing the dismissal threat claiming that the explanation she gave to the charges against her were not satisfactory.

The nun was also told that she could leave the congregation by herself or else she will be dismissed without further notice. She was given a last chance to give a statement in her defence before May 16.

Sister Lucy told a section of media that she adopted sainthood at the age of 17 and was determined to continue with it.

"Whatever action the church takes, I will fight it. I firmly believe that I did not commit anything unlawful," she said.

The church raised a set of flimsy charges against the nun, including that she bought a car and published books without the permission of the church.

A canonical warning issued on January 1 by Superior General Mother Ann Joseph also accused her of causing insult to the church by making false accusations against the church leadership in television discussions and publishing articles in newspapers, including "non-Christian newspapers".

She was also criticised for taking part in the stir against Franco without the church's permission.

Sister Lucy said that she had given a clear explanation to the charges against her, saying everything she had done was within the norms of the church.

Five other nuns who took part in the demonstrations seeking action against Franco have also faced action, such as transfers. But owing to widespread resentment, the authorities have put these steps on hold.

Franco, who was the former Bishop of Jalandhar, allegedly sexually abused a nun in a convent at Kottayam district several times between 2014 and 2016.

The police registered a case and Franco was even arrested last year, but later released on bail. The probe is underway.