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What happens when you accuse ‘Powerful’ men of rape?

Mangalore Today 2019-08-10 18:38:09

Mangalore Today News Network

Kerala, Aug 10, 2019 : Here’s the major travesty that occurred when a woman called Sister Lucy Kalappura tried to do some things. She bought a car. She wrote some poems; some op-eds, even. Fiery stuff. Went to a TV interview or two, and shouted at a protest march – decrying the fact that a Bishop of her faith, accused of rape, was allowed to continue unscathed under the church’s eye, Yahoo reported.


Was it any surprise that she was asked to leave the said church’s congregation, told she had far too “rebellious an attitude” and far too questionable a “lifestyle” – when, really, what was she thinking protesting against a man of the church that courts were going to try for rape? Rape. Repeated multiple times, allegedly. Between the space of a couple of years, allegedly.

Dear Lucy Kalappura, what were you thinking? You must have known in a country such as ours where rape accuseds rule the heartland – until mass protests and mysterious car collisions force a government’s hand – there are few recourses left to you, if you choose to do the right thing.

Even the thing that’s fundamentally ordained to you – stand in protest. Further, didn’t you participate like, a year ago? But then, you didn’t desist, did you? You expressed remorse for the survivor, cried foul against delayed action, wrote what you thought, said what you thought, showed your face as you wrote and said what you thought. Yet, you never showed the “needed remorse” for all your actions.

I mean, didn’t the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC) of the Catholic Church, that you’ve been with for so long, send you a “canonical warning” right after you protested against Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun 13 times between 2014 and 2016? That was almost a year ago – but who’s counting? There have been far too many “offences” to add to the pile against you over the months. For instance, as the notice issued to you on 5 August mentions – “You uploaded a photo of yours in lay dress on Facebook and tried to justify your action by criticising the FCC [Franciscan Clarist Congregation] religious habits in your channel discussions.” According to said notice, you even “learnt to drive” and “returned late, accompanied by one or two men” (!)

Surely, you must have known that something frivolous was coming after the more ‘real” intentions were laid bare in a previous January letter to you, sternly telling you off for your “rebellious attitude” – manifested in your participation in the protest against Bishop Mulakkal and publishing pieces in non-Christian newspapers without prior permission.

I ask again – what were you thinking? Especially when the rape survivor was maligned by the Missionaries of Jesus (the organisation she belonged to) for apparently “being in a relationship with a taxi driver”? Especially when the church leadership has only steadfastly backed him, despite Kerala’s High Court stated prima facie evidence in his case and Kerala police charging him for his crime not three months ago? Didn’t the fact that Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, a member of the clergy who deposed against the bishop in the rape case, was found dead at a church in Hoshiarpur’s Dasuya scare you off? You said you’ve been forced and threatened and forced into signing your own dismissal letter, this morning. You said you hoped people who’d rallied around you would continue to. You said you were doing the right thing – standing up for nuns fighting for justice.