The Franciscan Clarist Congregation in Kerala on Saturday issued a showcause notice to nun Lucy Kalappura, who was expelled from her congregation for allegedly not complying with its guidelines earlier this month, ANI reported. The FCC asked her to withdraw a police complaint filed against a local superior nun earlier this week, and to issue an apology for the same.
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.
On Monday, the police had registered a case of wrongful confinement after Kalappura alleged she was locked up in the convent early in the morning by other nuns. Kalappura had 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.
A day later, the nun had filed a police complaint against a priest and five nuns for attempting to defame her. The police registered a case against the priest from the Mananthawady diocese in Wayanad, and the nuns of the congregation for allegedly sharing a video that portrayed Kalappura in a poor light. The video purportedly showed the priest, Father Nobel, criticising the nun for bringing two men into the convent through the kitchen. However, Kalappura clarified that they were journalists who had come to report on her being locked up by other nuns.
The FCC went through the CCTV footage to check on the allegations of the nun being locked inside the convent and said: “The Superior of the convent did not lock you up in your room. She only locked the convent before she went for the Holy Mass. It is her right and duty to keep the convent safe from criminals and trespassers.”
The congregation asked Kalappura to explain within three days in writing about the police complaint. “Any failure to give a satisfactory explanation regarding the above may invite, from the part of the FCC, legal procedures against you as envisaged by the Indian legal system, in addition to the provisions of canon law and the proper law of the FCC,” it said.
However, Kalappura said she will not apologise and withdraw the case, The Indian Express reported. “That’s not going to happen,” she said. “They should apologise to me for disparaging me for the way they have been torturing me from September 2018 onwards. If they accept me, I don’t have any problems. It’s not for me only. No woman must be subject to male domination.”
She said there was no place for compromise in the matter. “Just like you stub a cigarette under your feet after smoking, that’s how they are treating women like me,” Kalappura told The Indian Express.
The nun also said the FCC will be responsible for any untoward incident that might happen to her. “I may be killed,” she said. “I have to die one day anyway. An unnatural murder maybe what’s destined for me. FCC and its province in Mananthavady will be responsible for it. I will always be here at the convent in Mananthavady. I have also asked for protection from the police. But they have not done anything so far.”
She is currently staying at another convent of her congregation in Wayanad, even though she has been asked to leave the premises.
She had claimed that the other nuns at the convent did not mingle with her after her expulsion. “I’m very afraid... they are killing me little by little, trying to take away all my happiness,” she had said last week.
The expelled nun has filed an appeal before the Vatican. In her dismissal letter, the Franciscan Clarist Congregation had said Kalappura was unable to give a “satisfactory explanation” for buying a car, taking a loan for it, getting a driver’s licence and publishing poems.
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