In stark contrast to campaigns for gender equality and woman empowerment by political parties and the Left trumpeting about renaissance ideals, a nun in Wayanad is facing expulsion for standing up against atrocities on her folk.
Sr. Lucy Kalapura, who hit headlines after joining the protest demanding arrest of Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun, is set to face expulsion by the Church. This comes close on the heels of another priest Fr Augustine Vattoly, who spearheaded the campaign for the arrest, facing similar action.
The Franciscan Clarist Congregation, of which she is a member, issued notice seeking explanation for her taking part in the protest and giving interviews and writing articles in non-Christian publications and taking part in TV channel discussions.
Sr Lucy, a teacher at Sacred Heart High School in Wayanad, has also been accused of “repeatedly violating the vows of obedience and poverty”.
Among the charges are disobedience of a transfer order on May 10, 2015, from her then provincial which she failed to obey.
Later, she published her collection of poems ‘Snehavazhiyil’, even after being denied permission by the hierarchy. Incidentally, creativity appears to be anathema when one of Malayalam's much-acclaimed 20th Century mystic poet Sr Mary Beningna, also known as Mary John Thottam, is still read and the Dravida University in Andhra Pradesh has a centre in her name.
Among the charges associated with the book is that she spent of Rs 50,000 “which exceeds the amount that even the Superior General of FCC can use for extraordinary expenditure”.
Her refusal to abide by the vow of poverty is that she spent money to learn and get a driving licence and bought a Maruti Alto car, among the now-available low-end four-wheelers, for which she had not been given permission. This is when priests and bishops travel only in high-end luxurious vehicles and can flout the vow of poverty.
Her participation in the protest by nuns in Kochi on September 20 and the following days was seen as one of the “most grave external scandal and harm to the church and FCC".
But Sr Lucy asks whether the victim nun being raped by the bishop was not a scandal and a blemish for the Church.
The notice also says it is the first step towards expulsion.
Sr Lucy had a post on Facebook supporting the LDF Women Wall to uphold renaissance ideals where she had her photograph in civil dress. But, ironically the LDF has not voiced concern over the move to expel her.
While neither LDF nor UDF leaders cared to visit the venue of the protest by nuns in Kochi earlier, they ignored the protest for political reasons. But for CPM veteran VS Achuthanandan, no leader from either of the fronts made any statement on the matter as it would antagonise a large religious vote bank.
It is public knowledge that it was the historic protest by the nuns that hastened the Government to act and finally the arrest of Franco Mulakkal.
That the Government is going slow in the case against Franco Mulakkal, who is on bail, is better explained in appointing a special prosecutor after over 100 days to take forward the case. And the Opposition which trains its guns on the for any failure has 'strategically’ decided to maintain deadly silence.