Kerala nun Lucy Kalappura, who took part in the protests against rape-accused bishop Franco Mulakkal last year, was on Monday expelled from her congregation for having a “lifestyle in violation of the proper law”, PTI reported.
In her dismissal letter, the Franciscan Clarist Congregation said Kalappura had been unable to give a “satisfactory explanation” for buying a car, taking a loan for it, getting a driver’s licence and publishing poems. The congregation comes under the Roman Catholic Church.
The letter, issued by Superior General of the congregation Ann Joseph, said the nun was given canonical warnings but she did not show the “needed remorse”.
The decision to dismiss her, described as unanimous, was taken at a general council meeting of the congregation on May 11, and was approved by the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in the Vatican. Kalappura was given 10 days to approach the Vatican congregation to seek recourse.
“In case you accept this decree of dismissal without any recourse, as per canon law and as per the decree of confirmation, you will be freed from the obligations of the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience that you have taken in the Franciscan Clarist Congregation and you will have no more rights and duties in the Franciscan Clarist Congregation and hence, you are to leave the present community within 10 days from the reception of this communication, after having handed over your religious habit to the superior of your local community,” the approval letter said, according to The News Minute.
Kalappura denied any fault on her part. “I will not move out from the convent and I will fight against this [dismissal] legally,” she was quoted as saying.
The nun had attended the protests against Mulakkal in September 2018. She has received multiple warnings in the past from the congregation against her lifestyle choices and for going against the Church’s stand on the Mulakkal case. One of the earlier notices had said that Kalappura had participated in TV programmes, published books and wrote articles even though permission from superiors is required for such activities. The nun had appeared before the Mother General of the congregation in Ernakulam district’s Aluva to explain her stand on March 12.
Rape case against Franco Mulakkal
Bishop Franco Mulakkal was accused by a nun of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation of raping her 13 times between 2014 and 2016 at a convent in Kottayam. The Kerala Police filed charges against Mulakkal in July 2018, and he was arrested in September 2018. In October, he was released after the Kerala High Court granted him conditional bail. He returned to Jalandhar.
Mulakkal has denied the charges.