‘Spiritual lives not to be confined within walls’

Sr. Lucy Kalappura, Sr. Jesme, advocate M.S. Saji and social commentator Ashraf Kadakkal at a discussionin Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday.  

Sister Lucy Kalappura, who faced expulsion from her congregation in Wayanad for allegedly violating its guidelines, remains unperturbed by the tribulations she has been facing ever since she earned the wrath of the Catholic Church for speaking out against Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who has been accused of raping a nun.

Awaiting the outcome of an appeal she has filed before the Vatican against the decision to expel her from the Franciscan Clarist Congregation convent, Sr. Lucy is hopeful of receiving justice that would vindicate her rather bold stance against the Church authorities.

The prospect of an unfavourable verdict, on the other hand, does not worry the nun. “I do not fear about what the future holds for me. I will remain righteous in my actions and continue to lead a life of asceticism, this time in a manner I can closely interact with the marginalised and share their sorrows,” she said. Sr. Lucy spoke her mind during a panel discussion on ‘Behind cloisters – Nunneries, Seminaries and Monasteries’, at the Spaces Fest, organised by DC Books here on Saturday.

According to her, spiritual lives were not meant to be confined within the walls through the imposition of a mechanical way of living, but through community living and knowing the world around.

Pope’s advice

“In fact, Pope Francis advised missionaries to remove enclosures that existed within religious institutions and to travel amongst the masses to work with marginalised sections. Moreover, our congregation belonged to the Franciscan Third Order of religious life that mandated public life and an active role in outreach and relief activities to spread the message of Jesus through compassion and selfless dedication,” she said.

Despite differing from the First Order of cloistered nuns, the congregation has been creating barriers that prevented its members from interacting with the world around them, she lamented. She added that she would continue to point out uncomfortable truths as “I care for my congregation, which has been my home for 34 long years.”

Former Catholic nun Sr. Jesme, who left her religious order exactly 11 years ago, criticised the Church for allegedly striving to impose obedience, one of the three vows that were practised in religious orders, while neglecting the others — chastity and poverty. She added that she had never regretted her decisions to join and later leave her convent.

Social commentator Ashraf Kadakkal also participated in the discussion which was moderated by lawyer-writer M.S. Saji.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 10:02:48 PM |

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