Sister Lucy Kalapura has been facing threats and abuse on social media for her support for the survivor nun, in the Franco Mulakkal rape case

Isolated abused for supporting Bishop Francos survivor Sister Lucy speaks out
news Church Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 18:26

Sister Lucy Kalapura had never hesitated  to declare her solidarity with the nuns who fought against Jalandhar diocese Bishop Franco Mulakkal.

Accused in the case of raping a nun, Franco got a warm reception when he was released on bail and reached. In stark contrast, Sister Lucy and others who spoke up against him are being isolated, threatened and abused.

52-year-old Sister Lucy, a nun attached with the Karakkamala convent of the Manathavady diocese of the Catholic Church in Wayanad, has been alienated mostly by other nuns and priests. She is also constantly getting threats on social media, for the stand that she has taken.

Talking to TNM, Sister Lucy calmly says that fear is not what she feels, but disdain. “I am deeply shocked by the acceptance Franco gets, most of the nuns and priests have rallied behind him. And the Church has warned whistleblower Father Augustine Vattoly for asking for justice,” she says.

Syro Malabar Church has warned Father Augustine Vattoly to face consequences if he continues to be part of the fight seeking justice for the rape survivor nun.

“I am not scared about the threats or the abuses on social media. I am saddened by the death of Father Kuriakose Kattuthara. I believe that he must have been under severe pressure and tension for it was not an easy thing to testify against someone as powerful as Franco. The day after Father Kuriakose’s death, my mother called me, she was worried, asked me to be cautious. But I am not worried or tensed, after all what is there to worry? Death doesn't worry me” Lucy says. She adds, “In one way Father Kuriakose’s death was a murder, he died out of the pressure he suffered.”  

Father Kuriakose, a witness against Bishop Franco in nun rape case, found dead

Lucy never loses calm during the conversation and does not betray any strain that a person could be facing during what is undoubtedly a tough time in their life. She is clear to assert her support for Father Augustine Vattoly. “His acts are spiritual. His path is right. He is teaching spiritual discipline to those who received Franco outside the jail, for they have deviated from the path of God,” Lucy says.   

Unlike Sister Anupama and others. Lucy has not got any direct threats, but has been facing abuse consistently on social media. “I welcome difference of opinion, but the messages and comments I get on Facebook target me, seek to taint my character. Many use heinous language to abuse me, how it be justified?” she asks.

She has filed complaints with the State Women’s Commission, the Director General of Police and even higher authorities of the Church against the threats and abuses, but has got no answers so far.

What also upsets her is the kind of ostracisation she faces inside the convent as well as in the parish. “Some of the people in the Church even called my mother, like a warning to me. I am a teacher in a school run by the Church. Even there most of the colleague nuns don’t speak to me. The nuns in the convent too avoid me and behave as if I have committed a big crime. The priest who asked me to keep away from a function after I declared my support for the nuns doesn’t even speak to me, he behaves as if I don’t exist. And I have come to know that it is the same for the nuns at the Kuruvilangad convent who came out in open protest.  I can’t even think how the followers of God can isolate those who stand for justice,” Sister Lucy says.

Sister Lucy keeps herself engaged by visiting patients at home. “Those who oppose me have spread evil rumours that I even have physical relationships with the male patients I serve. Once someone hears something like this, they would want to keep a distance from me,” she rues.

“I always wanted to do good things for people and hence I chose this life. I believe I can serve with a smile, which I will do till my end,” she says, her voice filled with determination.

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