The Franciscan Clarist Congregation has issued a final notice to Sister Lucy Kalapura, who had joined protests against rape-accused Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal, asking her to leave the congregation, reported PTI on Friday.
Kalapura said that the church authorities have given the notice asking her to leave the congregation or to face expulsion. “It’s sad that the church has asked me to leave the congregation,” she told reporters. “I joined the church when I was 17. I have lived a life following all the principles of religious life. I don’t have any other life. My reply to the second warning letter earlier was very clear. I have explained my stand.”
The notice, which was issued by the Superior General of the congregation Sister Ann Joseph, accused Kalapura of leading a way that was against the “principles of religious life” and the rule of the congregation. Kalapura belongs to St Mary’s province in Mananthavady in Wayand district.
“You have consciously and willfully violated the vow of poverty repeatedly,” the notice said, according to Hindustan Times. “You uploaded a photo of yours in lay dress on Facebook and tried to justify your action by criticising the FCC [Franciscan Clarist Congregation] religious habits in your channel discussions. You also bought a car in your name. I should remind you that you must petition the indult to leave the FCC.”
The notice said Kalapura had participated in TV programmes, published books and authored articles even though permission from superiors is required to do such activities, The Hindu reported. It claimed that Kalapura had violated the vow of poverty by not handing over her monthly salary amounting to Rs 7.5 lakh from teaching ministry since 2017.
The notice also blamed her for learn to drive and for “returning late, accompanied by one or two men”.
Kalapura had appeared before the Mother General of the congregation in Ernakulam district’s Aluva to explain her stand on March 12. She had sought police protection to visit the congregation headquarters, fearing threat to life, according to Hindustan Times.
Rape case against Franco Mulakkal
In June, the police filed charges against bishop Franco 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.
An internal investigation by the Missionaries of Jesus in September found Mulakkal to be innocent. The organisation has also attempted to malign the complainant repeatedly, once alleging that she was in a relationship with a taxi driver.