She wrote and published her poems, learnt how to drive, bought a car and even supported the protests against rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal. These are Sister Lucy Kalappura’s crimes according to the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC), for which she has been dismissed from the congregation on Monday.
Superior General of FCC, Ann Joseph, issued the letter, dated August 5, to Sister Lucy, stating that she “did not show the needed remorse and you failed to give a satisfactory explanation for your lifestyle in violation of the proper law of the FCC”.
The General Council, which was held on 11 May 2019, unanimously voted to dismiss her from the FCC. This decree was sent to the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in the Vatican through the Nunciature in New Delhi.
This, according to the letter, received confirmation from the Vatican. “The Congregation for the Oriental Churches, by virtue of the faculty given to it by the Supreme Pontiff Pope Francis having considered everything seriously, has granted the confirmation, as per the request, so that the same professed one remains freed from her religious profession and other obligations and separated from her Religious Congregation, and to be considered dismissed from her religious life, and to be considered as a simple layperson the other things to be done what are to be done according to the law,” a part of the letter of confirmation from Vatican read.
Sister Lucy has been given a deadline of 10 days to make recourse to the Congregation for the Oriental Churches against this decree of dismissal.
“In case you accept this decree of dismissal without any recourse, as per canon law and as per the decree of confirmation, you will be freed from the obligations of the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience that you have taken in the Franciscan Clarist Congregation and you will have no more rights and duties in the Franciscan Clarist Congregation and hence, you are to leave the present community within 10 days from the reception of this communication, after having handed over your religious habit to the superior of your local community,” the letter added.
Reacting to this decree, Sister Lucy told the media, “There is no fault on my part. I will not move out from the convent and I will fight against this (dismissal) legally.”
Sister Lucy of Mananthavady Diocese in Wayanad was given two letters prior to this, warning her for her “lifestyle” and for challenging the Church for cornering the survivor nun in the rape case against Franco Mulakkal. Even then, she stood by what she says now, that she has not done anything wrong, but has been right.
The first letter was issued in January, and the second one in February. In both letters, the Superior General pointed out that her life was “against the principles of religious life” and “against the rule and constitution of FCC”.
In fact, a few days after joining the protests led by five nuns of Missionaries of Jesus in September 2018, Sister Lucy was banned from teaching the Bible and attending prayers, worship services and other activities of the parish, including offering holy communion.