The Vatican has dismissed an appeal by a Kerala nun, challenging the Franciscan Clarist Congregation's decision to expel her for "failing to give a satisfactory explanation for her lifestyle in violation of FCC laws." Sister Lucy Kalappura, who took part in a protest seeking the arrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun, was expelled by the FCC in August this year. The congregation had charged her with publishing poems, purchasing a car and taking part in a protest against the rape accused former bishop of Jalandhar diocese.
The FCC, under the Roman Catholic Church, said the nun was issued "proper canonical warnings", but did not show the needed remorse. Challenging the decision, the nun filed the appeal before the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in Vatican against the FCCs decision.
"The Vatican has dismissed her appeal," a church source said here without elaborating.
The source said she would have one more opportunity to file an appeal. If that was also rejected, she would have to leave the convent, the source told PTI. Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Giambattista Diquattro has conveyed to the congregation the decision taken by the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.
"As you will see, the Congregation has rejected the Recourse presented by Sister Kalapura. If she will consider that the present decree is against her lawful rights, she can present a new recourse to the Supreme Tribunal of the Segnatura Apostolica within the peremptory term prescribed by the law," the Nuncio said in his letter to the FCC.
Reacting to the decision, the nun said it was taken without hearing her part. The nun said she would not leave the convent as she has not done anything wrong. In its August 5 letter to her, Ann Joseph, the head of the Aluva based congregation, said she was being dismissed from the congregation for failing to give a satisfactory explanation for her lifestyle "in violation of the proper law of the FCC."
The "unanimous decision" to dismiss the nun was taken at the congregation's general counsel on May 11 this year. This was approved by the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in the Vatican through the Nunciature in New Delhi. In its notice to the nun early in January, the congregation termed as "grave violations", Sister Lucy possessing a driving licence, buying a car, taking a loan for it and publishing a book and spending money without the permission and knowledge of her superiors.
The nun dismissed charges levelled against her by the congregation, saying many of them were a "deliberate attempt to paint her in a bad light."
She said, "It’s not unnatural thing what has happened. The FCC really wanted to dismiss this. They discussed this matter with the archbishop and other bishops in Kerala and after that only they have taken the discussion with the approval of the bishops in Kerala and again they got approval from the Vatican and the Vatican secretary and they have the power to keep up their own decision and dismissal of the archdiocese. So we cannot expect anything from their part. What FCC has written has already written they won’t change it."
"The Vatican will only accept the decision made by the FCC. It’s an open letter and they have given me the English version of the letter. They have not discussed anything with me and they have not enquired anything with me so I don’t know what dismissal is this? No word from them on the enquiry and not discussed anything me. I don’t know what is written in the rest of the letter cause it is in Latin and they have only provided me with one letter that is in English and they have not mentioned anything in the English letter and it is only one small letter," Sister Lucy added.
In its notices, the FCC alleged that the nun violated its dress code in public without any permission and caused grave external scandal and harm to the Church by participating in the protest by 'Save Our Sisters Action Council' on September 20, 2018, at Kochi, seeking the arrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun in Kerala.
(With PTI inputs)