Nun, priest who backed agitation against bishop face Church ire

Nun who backed agitation against bishop faces Church ire
Sister Lucy Kalappurakkal, an inmate of a convent at Karakkamala in Wayanad district, has been barred from prayer, worship and mass.

Kottayam: With the arrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal in the nun rape case, Church authorities have begun to take action against those who supported the 14-day protest by five nuns at Kochi in the matter, a Church official said on Sunday.

"I received a letter from higher-ups in my church that I should not participate in such protests and keep away... I am preparing a reply to the supreme head of our Church, the one person with a lot of compassion for the suffering. I am sure he will know what I did was right," Yuhanon Ramban of the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church told the media here on Sunday.

Ramban is a post given to a priest of a monastic order, similar to a monk. There are instances in churches wherein a Ramban is elevated to a bishop.

Sister Lucy Kalapurackal of the Syro Malabar Catholic Church also told the media that when she visited her congregation in Wayanad in the morning, she was told to keep away from her church duties.

Lucy said that when she returned from the protest venue at Kochi, their Mother Superior called for her.

"She said she was sad to say that she has been directed to pass on the information to me that from now on, I have been relieved of all the duties in my church. I have been asked to keep away from duties like assisting in the Holy Communion, taking Bible classes for children and such duties, that I was doing till the other day," said Lucy and added that she wished to know what wrong she did to get this punishment.

Lucy is attached to the St Mary's Church near Manathavady in Wayanad district but the parish vicar, K Stephen, denied media reports that Lucy has been proceeded against.

"In the past few days, there have been responses by Lucy in the social media and this has come to the notice of several members of our church and they raised objections and it was conveyed to her," said the Vicar.

Reacting to the development, Sister Anupama, one of the five nuns who led the protest at Kochi in support of the victim, said she is "least surprised at what has happened".

The 14-day protest witnessed people from all walks of life coming together to express support to the five nuns.

Kodiyeri changes stance

CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on Saturday did a volte-face on his stance on the agitation by nuns in Kochi. After the arrest of bishop Franco Mulakkal and subsequent developments, Kodiyeri was all praise for the nuns and their fight seeking justice for their fellow nun. "The agitation by nuns point to a change inside the church. The protest showed the determination of nuns," Kodiyeri said.

Referring to his earlier comments, in which he termed the protest a 'politically motivated commotion' created to delay the investigation, Kodiyeri said: "The CPM only wanted to expose a group of people who wanted to hijack the protest to use it against the party."

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