Two days after the Muvattupuzha police in Ernakulam registered a case against Provincial Superior Sister Alphonsa and three counsellors of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation’s (FCC) Vijayawada convent, for wrongfully confining one of its members, Sister Lissy Vadakkel, Sr Alphonsa alleged that the nun has been staying in the Kerala convent illegally for the last 14 years.
Sister Lissy’s brother and the Save Our Sisters (SOS) Action Council had filed complaints with the Kerala police, alleging that the nun was given transfer orders after she gave her statement to the police against rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal.
“Sister Lissy Vadakkel had stayed in the guest house in Muvattupuzha under the FCC Vijayawada convent for the last 14 years. She was staying in the guest in her personal capacity and not for any work associated with the Vijayawada Province. During her stay there, she had established a relationship with the nuns of the Kuravilangad convent and gave a statement to the police against Bishop Franco Mulakkal clandestinely,” reads the statement.
Sr Alphonsa said the convent authorities were not aware of Sr Lissy’s statement to the police till the latter was issued a transfer order on January 25. The new appointment on February 12 is not only part of the general transfers but FCC Congregation’s decision “to correct the sister to mend her ways”, the Provincial Superior wrote.
According to Sr Alphonse, three days after issuing the new appointment, Sr Lissy said she was going to Kerala to meet her ailing mother.
“Although she booked her train ticket for February 16 night, she was ready to leave the previous night. Since I did not want her to go all alone, I travelled with her. The next day, we met with the FCC society;’s Mother General, with whom, she later had an argument. I also dropped Sr Lissy to the hospital where her mother was admitted. Sister Lissy then reached the Muvattupuzha convent on February 17 evening, while her brothers came the next morning, threatening and asking us if we would transfer anybody who gave a statement against Bishop Franco,” explained the letter.
However, Riju Kanjoorkaran, one of the conveners of SOS Action Council, asks why the FCC convent officials allowed her to stay the convent for the last 14 years if it was illegal, as they claimed. “The new statement shows that Bishop Franco was behind this to sabotage the case and isolate the Kuravilangad nuns,” he said.