The four nuns who face transfer threat in the wake of joining the protest demanding arrest of former Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun, have written to the Chief Minister seeking protection and support to let them stay in the Kuravilangad convent.
The four nuns of the Missionaries of Jesus in a letter to Pinarayi Vijayan have said they are witnesses in the case against Franco and transferring them is aimed at sabotaging the trial.
They claimed that they were under threat and should be given protection. The transfer orders were part of retaliation for their taking part in a demoçratic protest.
The Government, championing the case of women in the Sabarimala issue, has been accused of indifference in the case of the nuns. Union Minister Smriti Irani yesterday asked what the Pinarayi Government was doing for the nuns.
All the four nuns have made it clear that they would not obey the transfer orders and stay back to support their victim colleague.
Sr Anupama, who led the protest that created history in the State, has been transferred to Punjab and Sr Alphy to Jharkhand. The others, Sr Neena Rose and Sr Josephine, are to move out of Kuravilangad to another convent. However, the rape victim nun has not been moved out, though the transfer for the others is to ensure that she does not get support from within the convent.
The orders were issued by the Mother General of the Missionaries of Jesus and Church authorities claimed that it was routine matter.
They said similar orders were issued in March 2018 and the nuns did not follow the instructions. Also, participation in the protest was against the discipline of the Church.
Reining in nuns and priests continues with the synod of the Syro-Malabar Church on Friday deciding strict action against nuns and priests found involving in 'serious violation’ of the Church's disciplinary norms.
Another nun from Wayanad, Sr Lucy Kalappurakkal who joined the protest of nuns in Kochi, is facing expulsion. Flimsy charges like publishing a book of poems, writing articles in non-Christian publications, taking a driving licence and buying an inexpensive four-wheeler without approval by the higher authorities are among those levelled against her.