The Vatican on Sunday rejected the second appeal by Sister Lucy Kalappura against her expulsion from Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC). In her plea, she had demanded that her version be heard and her expulsion from the FCC be revoked. Sister Lucy is one of the nuns who has protested against rape accused Franco Mulakkal. She was expelled from FCC for participating in public protests demanding his arrest.
Speaking to the news agency, ANI, she said, ''I got a letter from the Vatican which says my appeal has been rejected. But the rest of the letter is written in the Latin language. So after I understand it, I will respond." A petition of Sister Lucy is still pending at Mananthavady Munsif Court at Wayanad that demands that she should not be expelled from the convent where she is staying.
The nun, who is the 14th witness in the ongoing Mulakkal rape case alleged that Franco was sending her lewd messages and that the former Bishop had called her in the room and misbehaved with her. The nun in her statement further said that she lacked the courage to take it up in a strong manner because he was the head of their congregation. While the police are yet to file a separate FIR, the complaint is part of the original charge sheet.
Franco Mulakkal, ex-bishop of Jalandhar diocese has been accused of raping and forcing unnatural sex on the nun multiple times between 2014 and 2016. As the complainant came forward, nuns of the congregation came out in support for the victim, demanding CM Pinarayi Vijayan's intervention. After being arrested by the Kerala police, he was later released by the Kerala High Court on an unconditional bail in October 2018. His bail was further extended by Kottayam additional district sessions court in November 2019 during the trial.
Earlier in April, Kerala Police had filed a charge sheet against Franco Mulakkal under various sections ranging from punishment for wrongful confinement, Sexual intercourse by a person in authority to carnal intercourse against the order of nature. Sources had told that if the charges against Franco Mulakkal is proven, he might get life imprisonment or imprisonment of not less than 10 years. Four nuns -sister Anupama along with sister Alfie, sister Josephine, sister Ancitta and sister Nina Rose who had protested against the rape accused, had expressed the church authorities' pressure to transfer them and splitting them up to dilute their protest. Meanwhile, the victim too has written about harassment from Mulakkal's aides to withdraw her case.
(With ANI Inputs)