Kozhikode: Sr Lucy Kalappurackal, who has been expelled from the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC) convent for her support to the nuns’ agitation against Bishop Franco Mulakkal, has vowed to fight it out till justice is done to her by the Church.
After a series of intra-congregation procedures, including showcause notices, Sr Lucy had received the order of expulsion from the FCC superior general on August 7 through the provincial superior of Mananthavadi region. As per the order, Sr Lucy should vacate her room within ten days, which ended on Friday. The decision was taken by the general council of FCC held in New Delhi.
The decision also has the ratification of Vatican office in New Delhi and the Apostolic Nunciature, according to FCC.
Provincial superior of FCC Sr Jyothy Mariya had sent a letter to Rosamma Scaria, mother of Sr Lucy, on August 7 saying that the repeated violations of Church laws had resulted in her expulsion from the congregation. “If she fails to submit an appeal to the Vatican office in New Delhi and also the Apostolic Nunciature within ten days, on the 11th day (August 17) she would be expelled from the convent” (at Karakkamala, Wayanad). The letter also urged the kith and kin to take her back home.
Regarding the future of Sr Lucy, the provincial superior said, “I hope that the property share of Sr Lucy which had not been handed over to the congregation so far, will be there for her. Moreover, violating the vow, since 2017 she did not hand over the salary she received as a teacher to the congregation, which will also be with her. “Though the salary of the nun is the right of the Church, we will not raise any claim for it,” the letter said and added that Sr Lucy will not have any rights to claim the salary surrendered to the congregation during the years when she was a nun. She cannot claim any remuneration for her services imparted to the Church during the period as she had written down denouncing all in her own handwriting while taking the vow. The letter also assured the family that Sr Lucy is free to utilize the salary after the expulsion from the Church and also the pension benefits she would receive after retirement for her living.
The nun has been facing various charges by the Church after she supported the nuns’ agitation demanding the arrest of Franco Mulakkal. The major charges include publishing an anthology of poems, owning a car without permission, appearing in the media and social networking sites violating the dress code and speaking against the Church in public.
However, Sr Lucy and those who support her were not ready to take it lying down. Sr Lucy told DC that she had already submitted her appeal both to the Vatican office in New Delhi and the Apostolic Nunciature of Rome by e-mail. “With my appeal, the expulsion procedure stands suspended and I will remain in the congregation and live in my room at the convent,” Sr Lucy said. “It is evident from the letter of the provincial superior to my mother that once an appeal is submitted, I can remain till the final verdict is delivered,” she said.
Many believers of Karakkamala parish of the Catholic diocese of Mananthavadi stood with Sr Lucy. The Catholic Laymen’s Association, the believers’ body that fights against Church injustices to the laity, said that they would support the nun and see that she is not expelled from the Church without ensuring her rights. CLA secretary M.L. George told DC that the organisation will seek both legal and religious remedies to give her justice....