Kerala nun Lucy Kalappura on Wednesday appeared before the High Court to challenge her eviction from a convent in Wayanad, Live Law reported. She urged the court not to throw her out on the street.
Kalappura, who was at the forefront of protests against rape-accused former Bishop Franco Mulakkal, was expelled from the Franciscan Clarist Congregation in 2019 for “violation of the vows of obedience and poverty”. The congregation had objected to her publishing a book, registering a car in her name and appearing on TV.
The nun had appealed to the Vatican thrice to revoke her expulsion. Her final appeal was rejected in June. After this, Sister Ann Joseph, mother superior of Franciscan Clarist Congregation, sent Kalappura a new notice to vacate the convent.
Arguing her case before the court on Wednesday, Kalappura said: “I am a woman, a nun fighting for justice. It is important for my nunship that I continue to stay at this convent. I have been a nun for the past 39 years, do not throw me into the streets. I have nowhere else to go.”
The nun had to argue on her own because her lawyer withdrew from the case. She did not have the money to pay legal fees, the Hindustan Times reported.
The Kerala High Court told the nun, who said she was being threatened by convent authorities, that she could not have police protection while living there.
“You have made serious allegations against the vicar in your petition,” Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan told Kalappura, according to Live Law. “You have admitted yourself that you are subjected to ill-treatment at the convent. This will only depreciate if you continue to stay at the convent any longer, especially since the court cannot grant you protection. It’s better to move out where I can grant you police protection.”
Kalappura told the judge that her petition seeking a stay on the eviction was pending before a civil court. “If the civil court directs me to move out, I will happily oblige,” she said, according to Live Law. “But till then, do not ask me to vacate the convent. I am only requesting this Court to wait till the civil court pronounces its verdict.”
Based on her request, the Kerala High Court reserved its order in the case.