God and public mediated for us, say nuns

Say that but for supporters, the case would have been hushed up

Published - September 22, 2018 11:32 pm IST - KOCHI

 The nuns who ended their protest in Kochi on Saturday  being greeted by supporters.

The nuns who ended their protest in Kochi on Saturday being greeted by supporters.

The 14-day street protest near the High Court, seeking justice to the nun allegedly subjected to sexual abuse by Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal, drew to a close here on Saturday with a rousing reception to the five nuns who were part of the public agitation.

With the organisers deciding to call off the protest in the wake of the police arresting the accused, a jovial atmosphere prevailed at the sit-in venue here on Saturday morning. “We have seen many protests against the Church, but this one was different. It is for the first time that the Church is facing dissent against its patriarchal social ethos from within,” said Fr. Augustine Vattolly, convener of the Save Our Sisters Action Council that spearheaded the agitation.

Uncertain future

He said the sit-in marked only the first phase of a continuing movement to reform the Church. A meeting of organisations that took part in the protest would be convened in Kochi on Sunday. “We have to make sure that these nuns, who came out of their cloisters to oppose the injustice meted out to their companion, are saved from the wrath of their patriarch,” he added.

Sister Anupama, a protester, thanked everyone who rallied behind them. “But for you, this case would have been hushed up and we would have continued to suffer in silence. We had to open up because our community was silent and also so that no nun, or any other woman, would have to undergo a similar experience again,” she said. She called for continuing support by the public as their future with the Church was uncertain.

Expressing her gratitude to a ‘democratically conscious society,’ Sister Alphi broke down. “God mediated for us in the heaven and people replicated it on earth,” she said. A street-play staged by students of UC College, Aluva, marked the formal end of the event.

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