Kerala: Nun who protested against rape-accused bishop alleges she was locked inside convent
A case was filed on the basis of Sister Lucy Kalappura’s complaint.
Kerala nun Lucy Kalappura, who was expelled from her congregation for allegedly not complying with its guidelines, filed a police complaint on Monday after she allegedly found herself locked inside a convent by other nuns, The Indian Express reported.
Kalappura claimed that doors of the convent were locked from the outside by the nuns to prevent her from attending mass at a nearby church. Police officials visited the convent to unlock the gate.
The incident took place days after Kalappura was expelled for having a “lifestyle in violation of the proper law”. Kalappura was one of the nuns who held a protest in Kochi last year against bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar, who was accused of raping a nun.
Kalappura has continued to stay at another convent of her congregation in Wayanad, even though she has been asked to leave the premises. She has filed an appeal before the Vatican challenging her expulsion. After her expulsion, the other nuns at the convent reportedly do not mingle with Kalappura and pray and eat separately, according to The Indian Express.
Circle Inspector Santhosh said that a case has been filed on the basis of Kalappura’s complaint under Section 342 of the Indian Penal Code for wrongful confinement. “One of the convent officials claimed they locked it from outside and gave a spare key to another nun, who has not been keeping well at the convent,” Santhosh was quoted as saying by The Indian Express. “They said they couldn’t leave the convent doors open, so they handed over the spare key to the ailing nun. We will have to probe this further.”
“We have to talk to Sister Lucy about this and also to higher officials at the convent,” the circle inspector added. A convent official denied locking the nun inside on purpose.
Meanwhile, the convent officials have sent a letter to Kalappura’s mother to take her daughter back home since she has been relieved of all the responsibilities as a nun in the congregation.
In her dismissal letter, the Franciscan Clarist Congregation had said that 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. Kalappura had denied any fault on her part and said: “I will not move out from the convent and I will fight against this [dismissal] legally.”
She also said the congregation could not ask her to leave the convent as she has appealed against the decision.
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 written articles even though permission from superiors is required for such activities.