'Sexual abuse of nuns, homosexuality, consensual sex...':  Sister Lucy's memoir exposes the Church

Sr Lucy’s book ‘Karthaavinte Naamathil’ talks about sexual abuse, illicit relationships and harassment in Church

Published: 01st December 2019 06:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd December 2019 01:35 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOCHI: It looks like the Church in Kerala will have a lot to answer for when the autobiography of Sister Lucy Kalappura comes out this week. The nun, who was hounded for raising her voice against rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal, narrates her life experiences and talks about sexual abuse and harassment of nuns in the book titled ‘Karthaavinte Naamathil (In The Name of The Lord)’, being published by DC Books.

Excerpts from the book that were recently published in Samakalika Malayalam Varika, a TNIE group publication, suggest it to be a tell-all account of her life as a nun in the Syro-Malabar Church. The book talks about consensual sexual relationships between priests and nuns in convents, and misuse of positions by priests and bishops to sexually abuse the nuns.

In one account, she says: “There used to be a priest who taught at a college and resided near a convent. He used to have a room for himself at the convent. The priest, who used to conduct counselling on safe sexual practices, did not restrict himself to mere counselling as far as the nuns were concerned. Fed up with his “practical” sessions, one of the nuns complained to her friend. But he too was helpless. The torture ended only when he retired and left the place.”

“The experiences I know of, that some of my sisters have been through, are horrendous. I am aware of some convents, where young novice nuns are sent to priests for their ‘pleasure’ as a matter of practice. They were made to pose nude for the priests for hours. They wouldn’t be permitted to leave even when they plead,” writes the nun in the book.

“There are also cases where young nuns are subjected to homosexuality in convents by senior nuns. Fighting mental dilemma, the nuns have to silently carry these crosses within the four walls of their convents. They are also constantly stalked by so-called ‘counsellors’ who exploit their predicament,” she writes.

In another account, she says: “A priest, fresh out of the Seminary, and subjected to homosexuality at the priests’ residence, grew mentally ill and finally gave up the priesthood in disgust. Similar was the case with a novice priest, who recently narrated his tale to me. One of the office-bearers of the seminary forced himself upon the young boy, and when he resisted, tied him to the bedpost and satisfied his lust.” The book, with 36 chapters, is replete with accounts like this and will be out in the first week of December.

When contacted, Sr Lucy said: “I have written about my life and the various horrific experiences that my sisters have suffered in their convents.”“We are in the final stage of publishing Sr Lucy’s autobiography. Editing and proof-reading are over. The final draft has been given to the press for printing,” said Ravi Deecee, CEO of DC Books.

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