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Sexual abuse takes place in convents and seminaries, says Sister Lucy

Sexual abuse takes place in convents and seminaries, says Sister Lucy

Lucy Kalapura, a 52-year-old nun expelled from the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC) about three months ago on grounds of indiscipline, has alleged in her autobiography that sexual abuse and assaults take place in convents and seminaries, and has called for institutional reforms.

The book, Karthavinte Namathil (In the Name of Christ), was released on Saturday.

“It is all about my life in the convent. It is a collection of my memoirs. It is not a fiction but hard truth. I wish church authorities accept some of these realities to stem the rot. Most of the time they are in denial mode and try to brush it aside,” she told HT over the phone.

She added that she will remain a nun till her last breath and that she will be happy if her book helps bring reforms in the church.

FCC of the Catholic Church expelled Sister Lucy in August, citing “serious indiscipline”, but she said she was victimised for supporting an agitation to arrest the deposed bishop of Jalandhar, Franco Mullakkal, who is facing rape charges.

In the excerpts of the book, she alleges she faced sexual assault attempts at least four times during her convent life spanning 35 years, and that several nuns succumb to such intimidations.

She claimed some young nuns were subjected to sexual perversions at the official residence of a priest. She also alleged that Father Robin Vadakumcherry, who is undergoing a double-life term for impregnating an underage girl in Kottiyoor (Kannur) in 2016, had illicit relation with several nuns. A Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) court sentenced Vadakumcherry to 20 years in prison in February 2019.

When contacted, church leaders refused to comment, saying that they were yet to read the book.

DC Books, the publisher of the 230-odd page volume, says all 3,000 copies were sold out on the first day. “We are getting enough inquiries. In the second edition, we are planning more copies to meet the demand,” said its spokesperson AV Sreekumar. The book is written in Malayalam but it will be translated into Hindi and English shortly, he added.

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