After a dramatic series of events, a trustee of the St Mary's Forane Church, Pallipuram, has apologised to Sister Anupama for disrupting her visit to the burial of Fr Kuriakose Kattuthara. On Thursday, Sister Anupama, one of the nuns who recently took part in a public protest in Vanchi Square in Kochi demanding the arrest of rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal, was heckled by a group of Franco supporters at Father Kuriakose Katttuthara’s funeral.
Father Kuriakose, a priest with the Jalandhar diocese, who was a witness in the rape case filed by the nun, had been found dead last week in his room. The incident of heckling that intended to humiliate Sister Anupama at her own parish had caused much controversy within the Church. Sister Anupama’s father, Varghese, filed a complaint to Vicar Fr Jose Ozhalakkat, demanding the expulsion of church trustee Tomy Ulahannan, who reportedly instigated the heckling, from his post. The Vicar called a meeting between Varghese and Tony Ulahannan at Pallipuram Church. As a result of the meeting, the trustee apologised to Varghese and Sister Anupama.
"An emergency parish council meeting which was conducted at Pallipuram church on Wednesday decided to welcome media persons and nuns from the Kuravilangad convent on the occasion of the funeral. Twenty parish council members attended the meeting. But this trustee created dramatic scenes in the church, which was against the decisions made in the meeting,” Varghese told TNM.
"I don’t know the motive of the trustee who created problems in the church. As part of the compromise, the trustee apologised to me and Sister Anupama over the phone and admitted that serious negligence happened on his part on the occasion of the funeral,” says Varghese.
Vicar Jose Ozhalakkat of the St Mary’s Forane Church, Pallipuram, told TNM, "The parish council decided to complete all arrangements with regard to the burial of Fr Kuriakose Kattuthara. But some unexpected incidents occurred on the occasion of the burial. Sister Anupama’s father submitted a complaint to me and demanded immediate action against the trustee concerned. Then I called a meeting and solved the issue. The trustee admitted his mistake and apologised to me and the family of the nun. The families of the nun and the trustee belong to the same parish.”
However, the Kerala State Women's Commission has registered a suo motu case regarding the issue of Sister Anupama and other nuns being heckled at this funeral. Kerala State Women's Commission chairperson MC Josephine sought a report from the Alapuzha District Police Chief regarding the incident.
Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, one of the key witnesses who had testified against rape-accused Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal, was found dead in his room in mysterious circumstances on 22 October.