An appeal by Sister Lucy Kalappura, a nun who was a prominent face in the protest against rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal from Jalandhar, against her dismissal from the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC) has been rejected by the Vatican, the Congregation has claimed.
According to media reports, Sister Ann Joseph, Superior General of FCC, wrote a letter to the superiors and nuns of the congregation.
"“At last, in the fullness of time accordingly to the plan of Holy Trinity…the Almighty God untied the knot of our heartbreaking issue concerning Lucy Kalapura. The appeal of Lucy Kalapura is rejected by Apostolica Signatura and the dismissal is confirmed. Let us raise our hearts praising the Almighty for his unspeakable gift. (sic)”" - Sister Ann Joseph, Superior General of FCC
WHAT THE LETTER SAID
Sister Ann, in her letter reportedly, stated that Sister Lucy had availed all three levels of appeals possible within the catholic legal system “and in all these levels your recourse against the decree of dismissal is rejected”.
Stating that Sister Lucy’s right to continue as a member of the FCC is now “definitely and irrevocably extinguished”, Sister Ann told her that she can no longer wear the FCC habit and will have to vacate the convent within a week of the receipt of the letter. A continued stay beyond the permitted time would be treated as criminal trespass and FCC will seek legal recourse, the superior general warned.
REASONS CITED FOR DISMISSAL
The reasons cited by the FCC for dismissing Sister Lucy in 2019 reportedly include failure to adequately explain her violating the rules of the religious order and her not wearing her religious habit.
She also allegedly obtained a driver’s licence without the nod of her superiors, bought a car and published a book of poetry.
MORE ON SISTER LUCY
Sister Lucy, along with a few other nuns on 20 September 2018 had staged a hunger strike demanding the arrest of Bishop Mulakkal. However, the Church leadership had, in January, questioned her participation alleging that she had bypassed the authorities on the matter.
She was also accused of writing for for “non-Christian” newspapers without seeking permission from the provincial superior and “defaming” the FCC.
Mulakkal was accused of raping a nun 14 times from 2014 to 2016 and the case is under trial. The protest was withdrawn after his arrest.
Several nuns who had stood up against him had also been allegedly threatened in 2019.
WHAT SHE SAYS ABOUT FCC’S LETTER
As per The New Indian Express, Sister Lucy rubbished the FCC’s claims and said that her petition was still pending before the Vatican.
She said that she suspected the documents they sent her were fake and that fake news was being circulated.
"“It is a clear denial of justice and truth. It is all part of a conspiracy by FCC superiors. I will not vacate the convent until my side of the truth is heard.”" - Sister Lucy
With inputs from The New Indian Express and The Hindu.
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