Catholic Church Threatens To Expel Sister Lucy For Spearheading Protests Against Rape Accused Kerala Priest Franco

Nuns hold placards during a protest demanding justice after an alleged sexual assault of a nun by Bishop Mulakkal. (Vivek Nair/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

In what is seen as a highly vindictive move, Sister Lucy Kalapura, the nun from the Syro Malabar Church, who spearheaded the protests against rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal, has been slapped with a notice by the Church in Kerala.

Sister Lucy has been asked by her Mother Superior, Ann Joseph FCC, Superior General of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC), to explain her activities in relation to the protest against Bishop. Sister Lucy and a few other nuns had staged a hunger strike near the High Court premises in Kochi for weeks last year demanding the immediate arrest of Mulakkal.

The notice claimed that Sister Lucy’s action amounted to a serious breach of discipline and damaged the reputation of the congregation. This is not the first time that Church authorities have acted against Sister Lucy. The Mananthavady diocese expelled her from the parish duties after she became vociferous in her protest against the Bishop.

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However, the church had to backtrack the disciplinary actions following a huge backlash and number of common citizens expressing solidarity with the nun for outing the predatory priest.

The Catholic Church warned Sister Lucy for her media articles, penning articles in non-Christian publications and resorting to making false accusations against the Catholic leadership to tarnish their image.

Sister Lucy however has ruled out responding to the notice saying “I didn’t commit mistake. Earlier, I had asked permission over many issues, including buying a car through loan. But all were denied,” she said. As per the notice, the nun also erred in buying a car through loan without permission.

Mulakkal, who spent three weeks in the sub-jail at Pala before he got bail, stands accused of raping a nun belonging to the order of Missionaries of Jesus several times between 2014 and 2016. Mulakkal was stripped of his pastoral duties at the Jalandhar Diocese in Punjab but has received unstinted support from Church leadership.

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