A nun, who took part in a protest in Kerala against rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal, has been issued transfer orders by her congregation, close on the heels of four other nuns who were asked to leave their convent in Kerala. Sister Neena Rose, who is staying with the survivor nun, has been asked to report to the Missionaries of Jesus congregation’s Jalandhar convent and meet its Superior General Sr Regina Kandamthottu on January 26.
The congregation head accused sister Rose of carrying on with the ‘rebellious’ posture refusing to be part of the community and its daily religious life.
Earlier, the head had issued transfer orders to four nuns who took part in the protest, demanding the arrest of the Bishop.
In her letter to Rose, the superior general of the congregation had warned that failure to comply with the advice to report in person as instructed would be construed as a deliberate refusal to abide by the legitimate order of her Mother General, thereby challenging the authority canonically bestowed on her.
Earlier, the four nuns and the survivor nun had written to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, seeking his intervention to ensure that their transfer orders were not affected till the trial of the case was over.
The letter to the chief minister was written after four of the five nuns, who led the stir against the Bishop last year, were directed to leave their convent in Kottayam district, in compliance with a transfer order issued by their congregation last year.
“Their aim is to single me out and to harass and torture me. My life will be in danger if such a situation arises,” the survivor nun has alleged in her letter.
Their congregation — Missionaries of Jesus under the Jalandhar diocese of the Roman Catholic Church — has directed the nuns to join their previously-assigned convents, according to the transfer orders issued between March and May this year.
The nuns — Alphy, Anupama, Josephine and Ancitta — were served notice by the superior general of the congregation, Regina Kadamthottu, urging them to take up their assigned responsibilities as befitting members of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation.
The protest led by the nuns and the Catholic reformist forums here in September last year had led to a public outrage and demands for action against the bishop.
Bishop Mulakkal, a senior member of the Roman Catholic clergy in India, was arrested last year following allegations by the nun that he repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted her at the Kuravilangad convent between 2014 and 2016, a charge denied by him.