NSAE (Nous sommes aussi l’Église - We also are Church) has been informed of very disturbing news from India, concerning rape cases of nuns.
In early 2018, Bishop Franco Mulakkal, Bishop of Jalandhar, was accused by a Missionary sister of Jesus of having raped her repeatedly between 2014 and 2016. The bishop always denied it, under the well-known argument that it would be a conspiracy against the Church. For several months no one paid attention to the nun's complaint. But in September 2018, five of her sisters organized a sit-in to support her, with the participation of several nuns from different congregations and members of laity.
They were asking for the bishop's arrest, which they finally got : he was charged with rape and released on bail.
One of the sisters who supported her, Sr Lucy Kalappura, belonging to another congregation, the Franciscan Clarist Congregation, is currently the subject of vexations and sanctions, and has just been expelled from her community. Such a decision is extremely serious, as it denies the commitment a nun has made for the entire life, and that she intends to continue to assume. These sanctions are directly linked to her support for the raped sister. Sr. Lucy is known for her effective involvement with the poor and vulnerable people.
We are also aware that the Superior of her community said she regretted that this affair - which she would have liked to keep as an internal problem - came to public level. This intolerable way of concealing the unforgivable, unfortunately classical within the Catholic Church, proves impossible to hold, since the case has been public for more than one year. Ultimately, it is seriously harming the institution itself.
This behavior of the Superior also raises the question of the conditions of life in religious communities which, in this case as in many others, denies the possibility for a nun to take the initiatives that her conscience imposes on her.
If confirmed by a justice decision, this case will be added to the constantly growing list, on all continents, of nuns’ rapes by churchmen, making victims those women who have dedicated their lives to the God of Jesus Christ, by starting at the service of the poor, the sick, the children, the fragile people. This scandal raises general condemnation. It is unworthy that those who denounce them are suffering the rigors of the institution.