“I am a woman, a nun fighting for justice. It is important for my nun ship that I continue in the convent” Kalappura prayed.
On July 14th 2021, the Kerala High Court refused to entertain Sister Lucy Kalappura’s plea for protection against eviction from the convent where she was currently staying. The Catholic nun was a part of Franciscan Clarist Congregation and on August 2019 she was evicted because of her stand against rape-accused bishop Franco Mulakkal.
Sister Lucy’s lawyer withdrew from the case as she did not have enough funds to pay the fees. The Court has also provided her with police protection, but the Congregation has argued that her continued stay at the convent and the presence of police personnel has been an issue.
Further, a single judge bench of Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan said that it is difficult for her to stay at the convent and get police protection too. “This is for your own protection. You have made serious allegations against the vicar. You have also admitted yourself that you are subjected to ill-treatment. It is better to move out. We can give you protection,” the Court added.
The convent authorities put forward their arguments during the hearing, stating that the nuns are supposed to lead a disciplined life and act according to their convent’s rules but Sister Kalapura was not willing to do so. They also alleged that Sister Kalapura used to return to the convent at varying hours in the night which was not permissible. In June, the Vatican had rejected Sister’s Appeal where she was asked to provide an explanation for her lifestyle and she failed to give a reasonable counter.
The congregation, in its eviction notice, had termed Nun’s acts as “grave violations”. She was held for possessing a driving license, 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, however, had denied these charges against her.