Laity insists on removal of Cardinal Alencherry

The other key demands included an administrator-archbishop to look after the affairs of the archdiocese

Arch Diocesan Protection Council convener Fr. Sebastian Thalian and spokesman Fr. Jose Vylikodathu along with members of the laity organisation, addressing the media after a meeting in Kochi on Tuesday. — SUNOJ NINAN MATHEW.

Kochi: Two organisations of priests and lay people in the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese have repeated the call for Cardinal George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Syro-Malabar Church to relinquish all administrative responsibilities of the archdiocese.

The Archdiocesan Protection Council (APC) and the laity movement Almaya Munnettam the cardinal should take moral responsibility for “breaking both laws of the land and the cannon laws” in controversial land deals, and should resign.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Fr Sebastian Thaliyan and Fr Jose Vailikodath, convener and spokesman of the APC and Binu John Convener of Almaya Munnettam said the Cardinal must be made to find ways for compensating financial loss estimated to be `90 crore incurred due to the controversial land deal.

Stressing on the importance of the Church regaining its moral dignity the two senior priests said the 60-odd bishops attending the synod currently on session at St. Thomas Mount in Kakkanad, would be jointly responsible if the more than 5-lakh members of the archdiocese were forced to hit the street in protest.

“We expect the synod to act in a just and fair manner,” the two senior priests said.

The synod is scheduled to end its 11-day session in the next two days.

The other key demands included an administrator with full autonomy to look after the affairs of the archdiocese and publication of probe reports on the land deal.

The laity and the priests also wanted the synod to enhance the role and power of canonical bodies like the council of priests in the administration of the archdiocese including financial deals, said Mr. Binu John.

Source: deccan chronicle/UCAN

Indian priest, five nuns accused of defaming dismissed nun

Kerala nun who joined protest against rape-accused bishop complains to police of harassment via social media.

Sister Lucy Kalapura (right) is seen visiting a home near her convent in Mananthavady Diocese in Kerala. The Franciscan Clarist Congregation dismissed her on Aug. 5 citing a violation of norms, but the nun claims she was sacked because she supported action against a bishop accused of rape. (Photo supplied)

Kochi: Police in India’s Kerala state have filed a case against a Catholic priest and five nuns after a complaint by a nun dismissed from her congregation this month that the six defamed and harassed her through social media.

Sister Lucy Kalapura complained to police that Father Noble Thomas Parackal and five nuns of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC) collaborated to share CCTV footage of her entering her convent with two male journalists on social media with the intention of defaming her.

The FCC dismissed Sister Kalapura on Aug. 5 following Vatican approval, citing several instances of her indiscipline and disobedience. However, she appealed to the Vatican against the dismissal and continues to live in the convent.

Along with the video, Father Parackal posted comments that the dismissed nun had used the back door of the convent to invite two men inside. The 54-year-old nun claimed the comments had a tone to project her as a loose character.

The nun on Aug. 21 complained to the police chief of Wayanad district, where her convent is based.

“These posts are clearly meant to defame and annihilate my reputation in society,” Sister Kalapura told on Aug. 22.

However, Father Parackal, a member of the media commission of the Kerala-based Syro-Malabar Church to which the nun belongs, denied all allegations.

“What you see is what has been captured by the camera. I have not added or deleted anything. And I have not said anything to defame anyone,” he told

The federal government’s National Commission for Women has written to Kerala’s director general of police seeking action against the priest for an alleged attempt to defame a woman, media reports said.

Investigators could charge the priest and his accomplices with criminal intimidation threatening to injure reputation, making sexually colored remarks against a person and outraging the modesty of a woman, said George K. Jose, a law professor based in Bangalore.

He said the priest could also be charged with violating several clauses of India’s information technology laws. If proved, Father Parackal could be jailed for several years, he said.

The media and Sister Kalapura identified the two men in the video as journalists who had come to discuss with her the publication of her autobiography. She told media that the front door of her convent is usually kept closed for security reasons and residents generally use a side entrance, which she also used to take the journalists inside.

The nun claimed that several church leaders “ganged up” against her after she supported five nuns who publicly protested last September in Kochi to demand the arrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar after he was accused of raping a nun.

“This is an organized move. Most churchmen are behind me because I did not heed them [those who ‘ganged up’ on her] and took a stand for justice,” said Sister Kalapura, who teaches in a Kerala school.

However, documents from her congregation show that her superiors have been issuing her with warnings and corrections for more than five years.

She also owned a car, published a book and spent her salary on disobeying her superiors and violating the norms of her congregation, the documents stated.

Police charged Bishop Mulakkal in April with raping a nun multiple times. A 2,000-page charge sheet listed charges of wrongful confinement, rape of a woman incapable of giving consent, causing grievous bodily harm during rape, unnatural offense and criminal intimidation.

If found guilty, the bishop faces imprisonment of not less than 10 years or up to life in jail.

Sister Kalapura told on Aug. 7 that she will fight her dismissal in the civil court to restore justice to her.

Source: UCAN

Pilgrims walking to Velankanni attacked in Tamil Nadu

Hard-line Hindu group blamed for beating up pilgrims and destroying Marian statue in Tamil Nadu state.

Indian Catholic pilgrims walk to a popular Marian shrine in Velankanni on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. One such team was attacked on Aug. 18, allegedly by a Hindu group. (Photo supplied) New Delhi:

Indian police have arrested six suspected members of a hard-line Hindu group for attacking 40 Catholics taking part in a 450-kilometer pilgrimage to a Marian shrine in Velankanni town in Tamil Nadu state.

The attackers were accused of blocking the pilgrims on a public road on Aug. 18, beating them up and verbally abusing them, said Santhalingam, an inspector at Natrampalli police station in Vellore district.

A Marian statue the pilgrims were carrying in a decorated hand-pulled cart was destroyed in the attack, he told on Aug. 21.

The six suspects have been remanded in custody as police investigate the case. They face charges including attempted murder, rioting, hurting religious sentiments and acting to destroy religious peace.

Officials of the Catholic bishops’ forum in Tamil Nadu said the pilgrimage has been held annually for more than a century.

Pilgrims walk to the renowned Portuguese-built shrine on the coast of the Bay of Bengal to take part in nine days of festivities that end on Sept. 8, the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The attacked pilgrims, who started their journey from neighboring Karnataka, continued the pilgrimage under police protection, church officials said.

“The attack is an open threat to the constitutional freedom of expression and freedom of movement to a citizen of the country,” said Father Cyril Victor Joseph, director of the communication center in the Bangalore Archdiocese.

“Such attacks are a serious threat to peace and harmony, especially between people of different religious groups. Though the attack was on a small group, the message is for all Christians. It was an open threat against public expression and practice of our faith.”

Christian leaders have been complaining that their people have faced increased attacks from radical Hindu groups since the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2014.

The federal government tacitly approves of radical violence aimed to create a Hindu-only nation, they claim.

“For over a century, people, irrespective of their religion, have taken part in the Marian feast in Velankanni. It used to be a peaceful affair,” Father L. Sahayaraj, deputy secretary of Tamil Nadu Bishops’ Council, told “Such acts of violence can only spread seeds of hatred among people.”

Groups of Catholics, including women and children, walk for days singing hymns and loudly saying prayers including the Rosary, said Benedict Jaikumar, a local Catholic.

They also take statues and pictures of the Blessed Mary in a cart decorated as a chariot. They use parish churches to rest at night.

Jaikumar, who is connected with the attacked group, told that no one was seriously injured in the attack. The attackers claimed to be members of Hindu Munnani, a radical group, he said.

Source: UCAN

Dismissed nun says Church hounding her with fake video

Sister Lucy Kalapura made the charge a day after the Kerala police registered a case against the convent accusing it of her illegal confinement.

Sister Lucy Kalapurakkal

Wayanad: Sister Lucy Kalapura, who was dismissed recently from the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC) of the Catholic Church over grounds of indiscipline, has accused the Church of harassing her.

The nun made the charge a day after the Kerala police registered a case against the convent accusing it of her illegal confinement.

Speaking to the media at the convent on Tuesday, Sister Kalapura said after the police action, the Church was now circulating a fake video that shows her in poor light. She said she would take legal steps against those who are circulating video.

Sister Kalapura was dismissed from the FCC on August 7 for defiant disobedience and violation of the vow of poverty.

The nun claims the move against her began after she publically supported an agitation by nuns demanding the arrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar, who accused in a rape case. She was given 10 days to vacate the convent.

On Tuesday morning Sister Kalapurakkal’s brother came to see her.

“So far we knew what came out in the media. But after coming here and meeting her, we realised that things are much worse than what is being shown in the media. We will support her against the injustice meted out to her,” said her brother.


Expelled Kerala nun moves Vatican

Sister Lucy said that as she had filed an appeal, she would continue to stay at the convent and look for legal recourse.


Thiruvananthapuram: A nun from Kerala who was expelled by her congregation on disciplinary grounds has filed an appeal before the Vatican against the decision.

Sister Lucy Kalappura appealed against the Franciscan Clarist Congregation’s move even as the latter tightened its stance by issuing a letter to her family to take her back home.

The nun claims the congregation’s action against her started after she had taken part in the protests against rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal.

She wanted a reconsideration and recall of the decree of dismissal.

She said the sole reason for the action meted out to her was for showing solidarity with the sisters of Missionaries of Jesus who were seeking justice and arrest of the former bishop of Jalandhar diocese.

In her letter that was sent to the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in the Vatican through the Nuntiature in New Delhi, Sister lucy wrote: “I had only discharged my duty and obligation to console and lend a helping hand to those hapless sisters who had to undergo such trauma in their evangelical journey. This has been misunderstood and misinterpreted as an act of rebellion.”

“As I was pained by the plight of the rape survivor and her supporters, I pledged my support to them in response to my conscience according to the teachings of Jesus. The motive behind supporting them was not in any way a challenge to my superiors or Catholic church hierarchy. I sincerely believed that unless the truth comes out, it will damage the image of both nuns and priests. This would help avoid eroding the faith of the people in the Catholic church and its royal priesthood,” she further wrote.

Meanwhile, the congregation wrote to Sister Lucy’s family members and asked them to take her home as she was expelled.

The August 10 letter cited multiple reasons for the expulsion some of which are willful disobedience, publishing a book, giving interviews to the media, learning to drive and obtaining a license for the same, buying a car, violating the vow of poverty and dress-code violations.

It also said that she was not giving her salary to the congregation and letting a person stay in her room overnight.

The letter further stated that though the congregation had the rights over her salary until she is expelled, the church was not raising any claims for the same.

Sister Lucy said that as she had filed an appeal, she would continue to stay at the convent and look for legal recourse.

Source: News 18/UCAN

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