In Matters India, August 28, 2019 (In the pic: Synod participants)
The report below is all about the confrontation between the Kerala Church hierarchy supporting the dismissal of Sr. Lucy Kalapura by her Clarist congregation and “Save Our Sisters” (SOS) movement organized by priests and laity in Ernakulam.
Sisters in the Catholic Church have always been the crowning glory of the Church starting with St. Mother Theresa because of their selfless service to the poor, abandoned and God-forsaken. Simultaneously they have always been the most exploited lot by the priestly class as the story of 27 year old Abhaya Case which refuses to be settled because of the economic might of the hierarchy to defend the culprits, well known and settled in the public mind shows. Many other sisters like Gesmi have come out and wrote their stories, so the public know who-is who.
Matters India gives below a brief history of the long fight of the Sisters in the street for Justice in the case in the court case of Bishop Franco Mulackal, now on bail for the alleged serial rape of a sister. Even in that case the bishops, en block, on national or state level have supported the accused bishop. Some even compared Mulackal to Jesus Crucified. That is the public image that we have of bishops in Kerala.
Seen above in the picture are the participants of the Kerala Synod of Bishops attended by 57 of the 63 bishops from 35 Syro-Malabar dioceses. The Synod has “asked people to refrain from attending the protest organized by various terrorist groups under the SOS,” and the SOS on their emergency meet on Aug. 28 said: synod has gone insane in calling them “terrorist” and dismissed Bishops’ statement as deplorable and baseless.
Lucy Kalapura is a Sister who has given her body to a medical college for students. How many of her accusers have done anything similar? She is already punished without a punishable crime, although those accused of more serious crimes like the two priests and a Sister who dumped Sr. Abhaya in the well, Fr. Robin who fathered a child for a teen ager and slapped the blame on his father, Bp. Franco caught in rape case, Cardinal Alancherry in land sale and illicit bank records – none of them have been deprived of their religious state!
Criminals free, Innocent punished!
The crimes brought against Sr.Lucy are: she published her book, went about in Churidar, joined in the street protest against Franco, bought a car etc. These are freedoms granted to every citizen by the Indian constitution. Even international organizations have come in support of Sr. Lucy in France, saying “We are also the Church”
What we the CCV suggest is that every religious sister who has been sexually abused by priests or bishops should come out in the public imitating the “Me-too” movement of their lay sisters. After all now it is made public that certain entire convents in France had to be closed down because they have been made prostitute homes for priests and bishops.
Stand up for convictions
Read the report in Matters India and come to your own conclusions. Independent thiking and taking bold decisions in the service of what one sees to be right is the duty of every citizen. Fear not, stand up for your convictions. james kottoor, editor CCV.
Please read below Matters India Report
Kochi, August 28, 2019: The Syro-Malabar Synod, the Oriental Catholic Church’s apex body, has justified the dismissal of a nun by the Franciscan Clarist Congregation, and deplored what it says is the interference of outside forces in the internal affairs of a religious congregation.
The synod has urged the law enforcers to view seriously new forms of protests planned by those masquerading as protectors of the religious in collaboration with anti-Church groups, terrorist groups and anti-social elements, says a press release from the Church’s Media Commission.
The commission has come down heavily on the “Save Our Sisters” (SOS) movement that has threatened to demonstrate on August 28 in front of the Clarist convent in Mananthavady where Sister Kalappura now resides.
“The synod has asked people to refrain from attending the protest organized by various terrorist groups under the SOS,” says the press release issued by media commission secretary Father Antony Thalachelloor. The SOS movement was launched in the second of half 2018 with Father Vattoly, a priest of Ernakulam archdiocese, as patron after a nun filed a police complaint that Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar had raped her several times.
The SOS staged a sit-in near the Kerala High Court in Kochi on September 8, 2018, in support of the rape survivor. It led to the arrest of Bishop Mulakkal after two weeks.However, the Kerala Church condemned priests and nuns coming to the streets to protest. Sister Kalappura had also taken part in the sit-in along with five nuns from the rape survivor’s congregation – Missionaries of Jesus.
According to the Media Commission, the synod has endorsed “the perfectly legal” decision of the Clarist congregation on Sister Lucy Kalappura, which the bishops say, was taken after completing all canonical requirements and with the approval of the Holy See.Meanwhile an emergency meeting of SOS on August 28 said the synod has gone insane and dismissed media commission’s press statement as deplorable and baseless.
The SOS was started by a group of human rights activities who were anguished by the increasing atrocities against women in Kerala. The synod has warned Father Vattoly that the Church would view his leadership and participation in the protest as a serious case of indiscipline.SOS clarified through a press release that Father Augustine Vattoly is no more its convener. “He has no connection with the current governing body of the movement. He is not its patron also,” the press release asserts.
The movement has threatened to take legal action against those issuing baseless statements against SOS, an independent organization with members from all religious and walks of life. SOS dismissed as laughable labeling its members as terrorist, anti-Church and anti-social. “No Church has the right to comment on the matters of independent organizations in Kerala,” it asserts.
“It does not behoove the Syro-Malabar Synod to tarnish human rights and social activists in Kerala to save Bishop Franco,” says the SOS statement signed by its convener Felix J Pulloden.It says the movement will go ahead with activities to protect women. “Safety of women is major concern of society. There is no religious or caste discrimination,” SOS asserts and laments that the Syro-Malabar Church has exposed its anti-women stance by threatening to take action against its members.
The synod began on August 19 at Syro-Malabar Church’s headquarters, Mount St Thomas, at Kakkanad, a suburb of Kochi, Kerala. It is attended by 57 of the 63 bishops from 35 Syro-Malabar dioceses. Among issues addressed are the controversies in the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly, the seat of its head Cardinal George Alencherry.
The Synod press release points out that Kerala’s religious major superiors had found the SOS’ activities bringing shame to their congregations. The former apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly had asked Father Vattoly to end his association with SOS, it adds. “Those protesting the Clarist congregation’s action would face the Church’s disciplinary action,” the press release warns.