Sister Lucy Kalapura, the Catholic nun who took on the Church in Kerala by publicly agitating against a rape-accused Bishop, pleaded the Kerala High Court Wednesday not to “throw her out on the street”.
The nun was ordered by the High Court to vacate the convent where she lived as she was no longer a member of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC), an order of the Catholic Church.
Sr Lucy argued her own case in the high court for the first time after her lawyer relinquished the vakalath on a petition seeking police protection. She told the court that she had no other place to go if ordered to vacate the convent in Wayanad. She said it was important for her nunship that she remained at the convent.
The Catholic nun said that she has filed a petition before a civil court challenging the order by the Church to evict her from the convent. Till the civil court pronounces its verdict in the matter, the HC should not direct her to leave the convent, she pleaded.
The bench of Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan made it clear that police protection cannot be granted to the nun as long as she continued to stay at the convent. Reserving its order in the matter, the court orally said the nun can be given protection if she chooses to pick another place to stay.
In June, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the highest judicial authority of the Church in the Vatican, had rejected the appeal of Sr Lucy against her dismissal from the FCC. She was expelled in May 2019 on charges of ‘violation of the vows of obedience and poverty.’
In 2018, Sister Lucy was among a few nuns who organised a hunger strike demanding the arrest of Franco Mulakkal, a Bishop of the Catholic Church, in a rape case. A nun, belonging to the Missionaries of Jesus order, has accused Mulakkal of raping her 13 times between 2014 and 2016 at a convent in Kottayam district. The trial in the case is in progress.