Church buckles under pressure, action against nun withdrawn

    The Parish Council of the Karakkamala church of the Syro-Malabar diocese, Mananthavady, Wayanad decided to cancel disciplinary action proposed against Sister Lucy Kalappura due to the stiff resistance from the parishioners. What annoyed the clergy was her participation in the protest demanding the arrest of the rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal. Then came the reports that Sister was banned from church activities like teaching Bible, attending worship service and other activities including offering holy communion. Sister Lucy belonged to Franciscan Clarist Congregation under Karakkamala church. She had not received any ‘sanction’ in writing, but the Mother Superior of the convent had informed her about the restrictions imposed by the Karakkamala church vicar.
    Stephen Kottakkal, the priest of the Karakkamala Church, had issued a release stating that the parishioners’ view of the protest was different from that of the nuns. The Church had brought this to the attention of Mother Superior. On September 24, a group of parishioners barged into the parish council meeting. They demanded the withdrawal of the actions taken against the Sister. They shouted that nun had not erred and most of the parishioners were with them. Then the priest had no other alternative than to yield. He announced the withdrawal of all actions.
    Sister Lucy expressed her sincere gratitude to the parishioners. She told, justice won with the support of the parishioners: “Proud moment in my life as a nun. It gives courage to the Christian community to protest against any injustice in the Church.”
    Sister Lucy’s is a watershed incident in the history of Church just like the protest against Franco and the demand for his arrest, and the public involvement of nuns and priests in the agitation demanding his arrest and ultimately his imprisonment. They all have demolished a powerful monolith like the omnipotent Church. They reiterate the fact that the people’s power is mightier than religious hierarchy.

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