Kerala: Four nuns who protested against rape-accused bishop transferred by churchhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/kerala-four-nuns-who-protested-against-rape-accused-bishop-transferred-by-church/

Kerala: Four nuns who protested against rape-accused bishop transferred by church

The development comes a few days after the church had sent a warning to Sister Lucy Kalapura for“making false accusations" against the Catholic leadership.

Nuns protest in Kerala
Nuns protest against the delay in action against the Roman Catholic Church bishop accused of sexually exploiting a nun in Kochi. (PTI photo)

The Catholic Church in Kerala Wednesday transferred four nuns from its Missionaries of Jesus convent in Kuravilangad who had participated in protests against rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Jalandhar diocese. Sr Alphy Pallasseril, Sr Anupama Kelamangalathuveliyil, Sr Josephine Villoonnickal and Sr Ancitta Urumbil, who held an indefinite strike near the Kerala High Court premises in Kochi last year demanding the arrest of the rape-accused bishop, have been given transfer orders back to the convents they were previously assigned by the Church.

The development comes a few days after the church had sent a warning to Sister Lucy Kalapura, who was at the forefront of protests against Mulakkal, for “attending channel discussions”, writing articles in “non-Christian newspapers” and “making false accusations” against the Catholic leadership.

Sr Anupama has been given marching orders to go back to Punjab, Sr Ancitta to Kannur, Kerala, Sr Alphy to Bihar and Sr Josephine to Jharkhand. Since June last year, these four nuns and a fifth one have been staying at the Kuravilangad convent as an act of solidarity with the victim, who also resides here.

Mulakkal was accused of raping a nun belonging to the order of Missionaries of Jesus several times between 2014 and 2016, and spent three weeks in the sub-jail at Pala before he got bail.

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Sr Kalapura and some other nuns of the order had staged a hunger strike near the High Court premises in Kochi for weeks last year demanding Mulakkal’s arrest. The protest was seen by the Church leadership as questioning and bypassing its authority. The Superior General of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC), to which the nun belongs, also counted among other offences the nun’s decision to publish a book of poems, learn driving, obtain a driving license and buy a car.

The warning letter to Sr Kalapura, accessed by indianexpress.com, read, “Your deeds on 20th September 2018 and on the following days were of most grave external scandal and harm to the Church and the FCC. You went to the Ernakulam High Court junction and participated in the protest held by the SOS Action Council on 20-9-2018 without the permission of your superior.”

(With inputs from ENS)