A writ petition seeking an urgent stop to the publication and distribution of the autobiography of Sister Lucy Kalappura, the Catholic nun who was part of protests against rape-accused Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal, was filed in the Kerala High Court Monday.
The plea, submitted by Licia Joseph of the SMI Convent in Kalamassery in Kochi, argued that the contents of Sr Kalappura’s Malayalam-language book ‘Karthavinte Namathil’ are ‘highly defamatory’ to the clergy, nuns and the religious.
“(The book) says that the priests and nuns are leading a very immoral life and they are indulging in indiscriminate and unprincipled sexual life. The contents of the book shell shock all the right-minded persons particularly the Christian believers. It creates a sense of dejection and anger in the minds of the members of the Christian community and the general public. The book is a naked infringement of public order, decency and morality,” the plea read.
The plea went on to allege that Kalappura’s autobiography is attempting to convey a wrong message that the present-day clergy and nuns are violating the fundamental principles of Christian doctrine.
Kalappura was at the forefront of protests last year in the wake of allegations of rape and sexual abuse against former Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal by a Catholic nun. She attended an indefinite hunger strike outside the premises of the high court in Kochi along with a few other nuns demanding immediate arrest of Mulakkal. Following the protest, Mulakkal was arrested and later released on bail. The trial in the case began last week.
Kalappura was expelled by the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC) in August this year for ‘failing to give a satisfactory explanation’ for her lifestyle in ‘violation of the rules of FCC.’ Among the charges against her were taking a loan to buy a car, driving a car, publishing a book of poems and writing in anti-Christian newspapers. All of those charges were widely seen as revenge for her participation in protests against the Church and the rape-accused Bishop. Kalappura is presently a teacher with a church-run government-aided school in Wayanad.