The Franciscan Clarist Congregation at Aluva on Tuesday threatened to expel from the congregation a nun who had joined protests against rape-accused Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal. The congregation, of which Sr Lucy Kalapura is a member, sent her a notice seeking an explanation for taking part in media interviews and TV channel debates, Mathrubhumi reported.
In June, the police filed charges against Mulakkal after a nun of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation accused him of raping her 13 times between 2014 and 2016 at a convent in Kottayam. The police arrested Mulakkal on September 21 after three days of questioning. On October 15, the Kerala High Court granted him conditional bail, and he was released the following day. He returned to Jalandhar on October 17. Mulakkal has denied the charges.
The notice, issued by the congregation’s mother senior, accused Kalapura of causing disgrace to it and the church. The notice also said that this is the first step in expelling her from the congregation. It asked her to appear before the mother senior at the congregation’s generalate on Wednesday.
“Your deeds on 20th September 2018 and on the following days were of most grave external scandal and harm to the Church and the FCC,” the notice read, according to a report in The Indian Express. “You went to the Ernakulam High Court junction and participated in the protest held by the SOS Action Council on 20-9-2018 without the permission of your superior.”
The notice criticised Kalapura for her “articles in some non-Christian newspapers and weeklies” and claimed that she made false accusations against the Catholic Church’s leadership. The mother superior also claimed that the nun’s decisions to publish a book of poems, learn driving, obtain a driving licence and buy a car were all “offences”.
However, Kalapura has refused to appear before the mother superior, saying she had not done anything wrong, Mathrubhumi reported. She told the newspaper that she sought permission from the Church regarding “several matters” in vain, which forced her to take part in the protests.
In November, nun Anupama, who had led the protests in Kerala against Mulakkal, was heckled and asked to leave the funeral of priest Kuriakose Kattuthara. The priest had deposed against Mulakkal in the case and had supported the protests by the nuns. He was found dead in October.
The Syro Malabar Church in Kerala had warned Father Augstine Vattoly for organising protests against Mulakkal. The protest was held to demand the cancellation of the bail granted to Mulakkal and an investigation into the death of Father Kuriakose Kattuthara.