Church tells Sister Lucy to leave convent, refuses compensation for years of service

The church also shamelessly adds that though it is entitled to Sister Lucy's salary over the years, it will not demand for it.
Church tells Sister Lucy to leave convent, refuses compensation for years of service
Church tells Sister Lucy to leave convent, refuses compensation for years of service
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In a new set of actions against Sister Lucy, who protested against Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal accused of raping a nun, the Franciscan Clarist Convent (FCC) Superior Sister Jyothi Maria has sent a letter to Sister Lucy's mother to take back her daughter from the convent before August 17, 2019. The letter was sent to Rosamma Scaria, mother of Sister Lucy, who was dismissed from FCC earlier this month for violating its norms with her ‘lifestyle’.

The letter essentially states that the convent will not provide any compensation to Sister Lucy, who can sustain on her own with her job. 

"It is believed that the family inheritance for your daughter was not shared with the Church, and she will have with her the salary she earned from December 2017. As per our calculation, she must have earned over Rs 10 lakh in savings since 2017, as she earns Rs 50,000 per month," the letter says.

Sister Lucy has been working as a teacher at the Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School in Mananthavady since 1997. The letter shamelessly goes on to say that the church has the right over salary, but the church will not raise claim to it.  "The congregation believes that you can live your future life with the security of the present salary and pension. Though the church has rights over her salary, we will not claim it."

The church also says that it will not pay any money to Sister Lucy for her years of service. The letter reminds her mother that Sister Lucy, on the occasion of her final vows, had submitted a signed document to the church that states she will not seek any compensation from the convent if she leaves, or is dismissed.

Reacting to the FCC’s act, Sister Lucy told the media, “It was totally unethical to send the letter to my mother. I sent a letter to the Vatican through email, and I will send a registered post to the prefect of the Oriental Congregation of Vatican to review the order. I hope the Vatican nullifies this dismissal order.”

The letter also reiterates that Sister Lucy violated the canonical laws, despite the church issuing required canonical warnings. “However you did not show the needed remorse, and you failed to give a satisfactory explanation for your lifestyle in violation of the law of the FCC. The violations include not accepting the transfer in 2015, buying a car, failing to submit the salary to the convent, and allowing a person to stay with you in the convent without permission,” the letter says.

"The church will repay a share of inheritance submitted to the convent from Sister Lucy without interest," it adds.

Earlier, Sister Lucy Kalappura had got several warnings from the church and the congregation allegedly on several grounds including breaking the vow of poverty, participating in the protest against Bishop Franco Mulakkal, publishing her book 'Snehamazhayil', taking part in TV channel discussions, registering a car in her own name, taking loan without seeking permission, and publishing her articles in non-Christian weeklies and dailies. Further, Sister Lucy was also accused of learning driving, and obtaining a license without the permission from the congregation’s Superior General. However, it should be noted that the church's dissatisfaction with the nun started after she opposed Franco.

Sister Lucy has stood by her actions, and said she has not done anything wrong. In an interview to TNM, she said, “We are living in the 21st century and the church is still trying to impose laws belonging to the 3rd century. But this seems to be applicable to only a few. There is a nun in the same province as me who rides a scooter but she has not faced any action at all."

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