Have dioceses started taking action against the nuns who joined the public protest led by five nuns, demanding the arrest of rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal? According to Malayalam media outlets, Sister Lucy Kalappura, one of the nuns who joined the protest outside the Kochi High Court, has been banned from church activities and relieved of her duties.
Sister Lucy Kalappura of Mananthavady diocese, Wayanad, has reportedly been banned from prayer, teaching the Bible, attending worship service and other activities of the parish, including offering holy communion. Joining the protest in Kochi, she had said that the Church should be prepared to correct themselves if any lapses had occurred, and expressed her unwavering support to the nuns seeking justice in this case.
On Sunday morning, she learnt that she had been barred from church activities, including teaching the Bible to class X students, when she arrived for prayer.
She later clarified to the media that she had not received any written notice on this, but was deeply saddened that she had been barred from the church activities. She also pointed out that she joined the protest to support her fellow nuns, and that she had not spoken against the Church.
She also said that she has received plenty of support from other nuns in the diocese for having joined the protest.
Action is being taken against Sister Lucy for allegedly going against the Church, for taking a loan to buy a vehicle and for not wearing her nunâ€™s habit at a public event.
Reports indicate that the Mother Superior of her Church had recommended action be taken against Sister Lucy three months ago, although this has clearly been provoked by the nunâ€™s support to the protest demanding the arrest of rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal.
The St Mary's Church, however, has denied that any action has officially been taken against Sr Lucy. According, to a press release, the church claimed that Sr Lucy used to be involved in catechism and offering Holy Communion activities of the church. Some churchgoers disapproved of her recent criticism of the church through social media and other publications, and this was informed to the priest, Fr Stephen Kottakkal. Churchgoers had a problem with her training their children on faith, and being involved in catechism activities, the church said.
"Sister Lucy has only been informed of the public sentiment through her superior. No restrictions have been imposed on Sister as a Catholic believer and a nun," the church said, putting the blame squarely on churchgoers.
After five nuns began their protest outside the Kochi High Court on September 9, there were reports of many congregations, such as the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel (CMC), issuing internal circulars, barring other nuns and priests from joining the protest.