Sister Lucy Kalappura, who took part in nuns' protest against Franco Mulakkal, faces Church action for owning car, publishing book

George Joseph
Deepika, the official mouthpiece of the Syro-Malabar Church, published an article accusing Sister Lucy Kalappura who part took in the street agitation against rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal, of violating the congregation's rules by owning a car, getting a driver's licence and publishing a book without permission

Kochi: A week after a nun's congregation issued a letter levelling charges against Sister Lucy Kalappura who part took in the street agitation against rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal, the official mouthpiece of the Syro-Malabar Church, Deepika, published an article criticising the outspoken nun.

The article, written by Noble Parakkal, strongly criticised the nun accusing her of not only violating the Canon rules but also speaking against the clergy with the intention of becoming famous. The article also claims that Sister Lucy participated in the agitation in September 2018 in Kochi against Bishop Mulakkal without the permission of her superiors.

According to the article, Sister Lucy had informed the authority of St Mary's Province, in Wayanad district, where she belongs, that she is moving to Thrissur due to personal reasons. But she went to Kochi and participated in the agitation and spoke against the accused Bishop. It claims that some local channels exploited the protests in order to raise their rating. The nun became a tool in the hands of anti-Church movements, the article claims.

The newspaper article was published a week after Sister Ann Joseph, superior general of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC) issued a letter to Sister Lucy, accusing her of violating the rules of the congregation.

The congregation had issued the letter on 1 January, stating that Sister Lucy has violated the rules of the congregation by spending money without permission and knowledge of her superiors. In the letter sent on 1 January, Sister Joseph had summoned Sister Lucy to the headquarters of the congregation in Aluva, near Kochi on 9 January. But Sister Lucy didn't present herself personally before her.

Some of the violations, which have also found the author's backing in the article published in the Syro-Malabar church's mouthpiece, Deepika, included buying a new Maruti Alto car, getting a driver's licence, taking a loan for the vehicle and publishing a book.

Here's a list :

- Not obeying the transfer order issued on 10 May, 2015. - In spite of the denial of permission by the Provincial superior of the congregation, Sister Lucy published a book, titled Snehamazhayil. - Application for learning driving and taking license has not been granted. But Sister proceeded. - Bought Maruti Alto car without permission, spending around Rs 4 lakh. - Spent Rs 50,000 for publishing the book. - Not entrusted the salary from December 2017 onwards. - Participated in the protest march in Kochi. - Published articles in non-Christian newspapers and publications and gave interviews to TV channels. - Belittled catholic leadership through Facebook. - Tried to defame FCC. - Denied repeated requests for meeting with the Superior general.

According to the Canon rules, a nun should not secure wealth personally and spend money without permission. The article says that even the mother superior of the congregation could spend an amount more than Rs 4 lakh only with prior permission. But Sister Lucy Kalapura spent more than that without seeking permission. Moreover, she is not giving her salary to the congregation since December 2017. A nun having a job should give all her salary to the congregation, according to the Canon rules, the article claims.

Sister Lucy, however, denied the allegations. "There is no truth in it. Whatever money I keep with me, I spend on social activities and for helping the poor. As per the Canon rules, I have the right to keep a part of my salary with me. I am not spending it lavishly for my personal benefit. I think that I have the right to do it. This is the main cause of the attack against me," she said.

Sister Lucy also said that she bought the car with the permission of the concerned authority of her congregation. "I had submitted an application for permission through a proper channel. Then only I proceeded with buying the new car. But I haven't got the permission in writing," she said.

Speaking with this correspondent over the phone, Sister Lucy said that she had decided to buy the car in order to make her movement more convenient and to maintain social status in the institution. Sister Lucy is currently working as a teacher in Sacred Heart High School in Wynad district.

She also said that the allegations raised against her are baseless.

"I have informed my superiors about the purchase of the car. There is no truth in alleging that I had purchased it on my own. I purchased the car with the money, I earned and I am not believing that there is anything wrong against ethics and the Canon," she said.

Sister Lucky said that a conspiracy is going on against her after attending the street agitation against Bishop Fanko Mulakkal. She, however, denied commenting on whether the latest warning letter issued by the superior general and the article in Deepika are planned effort to oust her from the Franciscan Congregation.

The article further explains that there were gross violations from the nun and hence the notice, seeking an explanation.

Also See: Kerala nun protesting against Bishop Mulakkal gets notice from Church for leading life 'against religious principles'

History of nuns abused by priests in India: Fighting off advances means pinballing through centuries-old clerical traditions

Kerala Sabarimala hartal updates: DGP says will probe whether attack on journalists was part of conspiracy

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