Expelled Kerala nun moves Vatican against congregation’s decision

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Sister Lucy Kalappura, who took part in a protest against former bishop of Jalandhar diocese, was expelled by Franciscan Clarist Congregation earlier. Photo: PTI File

A Kerala nun on Saturday (August 17) said she has filed an appeal before the Vatican against Franciscan Clarist Congregation’s decision to expel her from it even as the congregation tightened its stance by issuing a letter to the her elderly mother to take her back home.

Sister Lucy Kalappura, who took part in a protest against former bishop of Jalandhar diocese in connection with a rape case, was expelled by the Franciscan Clarist Congregation early this month for failing to give a satisfactory explanation for her lifestyle “in violation of the proper law of the FCC.”

“I have filed an appeal. An email was sent to Vatican yesterday (Friday). I have also sent via post today (Saturday) to Vatican as well as their representatives in New Delhi,” the
expelled nun told reporters here.

The nun said the Congregation has sent a letter to her mother on August 10 asking her to take her daughter back to home from the convent in Karackamala (in Wayanad).


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In her letter to the nun’s mother dated August 10, FCC’s Provincial Superior in Mananthavady said that the nun should leave the convent if she failed to make “recourse against the decree” within 10 days from the day on which she receives the communication.

Sister Kalappura said that legally the congregation could not ask her to leave the convent since she has filed the appeal challenging its decision.

The Congregation had accused sister Lucy Kalappura of publishing poems, purchasing a car and taking part in a protest against a rape accused former bishop of Jalandhar dioecese.

The congregation, under the Roman Catholic Church, had said that the nun was issued “proper canonical warnings”, but did not show the needed remorse.

In its August 5 letter to her, head of the Aluva based congregation, Ann Joseph, had said, “You are hereby dismissed from the Franciscan Clarist Congregation as you failed to give a satisfactory explanation for your lifestyle in violation of the proper law of the FCC”.

The “unanimous decision” to dismiss the nun was taken at the congregations General Council on May 11 this year. This was sent to the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in the Vatican through the Nuntiature in New Delhi.

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In its notice to the nun early in January, the congregation had termed as “grave violations”, Sister Lucy possessing a driving licence, buying a car, taking a loan for it and publishing a book and spending money without the permission and knowledge of her superiors.

Sister Lucy Kalappura had dismissed some 14 charges levelled against her by the congregation, saying many of them were a “deliberate attempt” to paint her in “bad light”.

In its notices, the congregation had alleged that the nun violated FCC’s dress code in public without any permission” and “caused grave external scandal and harm to the Church” by participating in the protest by Save Our Sisters Action Council on September 20, 2018 at Kochi, seeking the arrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun in Kerala.