Vellamunda police in Kerala have booked six people, including a senior priest, for defaming Sister Lucy Kalappura who has openly demanded the immediate arrest of rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal.
Sister Lucy Kalappura (File Photo) | Photo Credit: ANI
- Sister Lucy had accused the congregation of illegally confining her to a convent
- Mananthavady diocese distanced itself from the priest’s defamatory claims
- Being targeted for ‘exposing’ church: Sister Lucy Kalappura
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Police has booked six people, including a senior priest, for allegedly defaming Sister Lucy Kalappura who has accused the Church and the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC) of harassing her for demanding the arrest of rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal. Sister Kalappura is part of Save our Sisters (SOS) Action Council, a group of nuns voicing their support for the nun who has accused Mulakkal of rape.
On Tuesday, Sister Lucy had claimed that she was being defamed on the basis of a false video. On the basis of her complaint, the Vellamunda police registered a case of criminal defamation and booked six people. One of the accused identified in the complaint is a senior priest of the Mananthavady diocese of the Catholic Church. The priest had reportedly posted CCTV footage of reporters visiting the nun on social media. While addressing mediapersons, Sister Kalappura said that the priest retrieved the CCTV footage with the help of other nuns in Wayanad.
The nun has also claimed that the father used the video to alleged that she allowed other men to enter the convent where the Church does not permit the entry of males. The Mananthavady diocese wasted no time in distancing itself from the priest’s derogatory statements.
The priest had eleased a mischievous video to malign the nun’s reputation speaks of ‘facts’ – while he himself has twisted a sequence of events deliberately to defame her.
It looks like the Church is determined to make Sister Lucy Kalappura’s life a living hell. In the latest attempt to denigrate the nun, who has been suffering harassment from the Church ever since she protested against rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal, a priest of Mananthavady Dioscese, Wayanad, has put up a venomous YouTube video with tasteless and defamatory commentary on CCTV footage that simply shows Sister Lucy entering the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC) convent at Karakkamala in Mananthavady with two journalists.
The visuals “released” by Noble Thomas Parackal, a priest at the Diocese, show Sister Lucy entering the convent at Karakkamala through the back door, and two men – journalists – following her inside. Incidentally, these visuals were given to the priest by the convent. While the two male journalists were there for an interview, and a third journalist – a woman who is in fact married to one of the journalists – enters the convent later, Noble Thomas Parackal insinuates that the nun indulged in an illicit relationship with the two men. Further, in his malicious video rant, Noble omits the images of the woman journalist altogether.
Making up an unsolicited and misrepresented “explanation” of the footage, Noble in his vitriolic video says, “In a women’s convent, where even female visitors are not allowed without prior permission from the Superior General, Sister Lucy can be seen entering through the back door with two men,” stressing “two men” once again in the video.
Further, in an attempt to discredit and shame Sister Lucy, he says, “Recently, Sister Lucy called the police stating that she was locked in the convent on a Sunday morning. Officials at the convent realise the inappropriateness and dangers that come with strangers walking in, and hence, took the step.”
Noble also alleges that Sister Lucy immediately called an online news media “for publicity”. “The media, without verifying facts, published the news,” he adds.
Ironic indeed that the priest who has released a mischievous video to malign the nun’s reputation should speak of ‘facts’, when his baseless allegation is riddled with misinformation.
Bindhu Milton, the female journalist who was also present for the interview with Sister Lucy on June 1, and whose presence Noble has wilfully left out of his rancid attack, has put up a Facebook post explaining exactly what had happened. “Since I was on a phone call, I got out of the car after some time. I entered the convent later,” Bindu says.
Further, according to Bindu, when the journalists identified themselves in the comments section of the YouTube video in order to bust his malicious claims, Noble went on to delete their comments. Clearly, this is no innocent ‘mistake’ by the priest and a deliberate attempt to spin lies.
Besides, Sister Lucy in her earlier meetings with the media has already clarified that she had to use the back door, through the kitchen, since the front gates of the convent had been shut.
Noble does not end his tirade in the video. “The nun who condemns the church and gives interviews to the media engaged in a condemnable act as seen in these visuals. Does this happen anywhere? Can the Christian believers ignore it as something futile?” he asks.
Well, clearly, the answer to Noble’s questions is “NO”. Condemnable acts happen everywhere, even in the Catholic dioceses, committed by the priests, bishops and those in power. No, the Christian believers and the people worldwide cannot ignore the sexual assault crimes of religious leaders like Franco Mulakkal and Robin Vadakkanchery, among others.
And Christian believers definitely cannot ignore the vulgar attempts made by people like Noble Thomas Parackal to suppress victims’ voices and defame them.