Despite repeated warning letters from her own congregation, Sister Lucy, a 53-year-old nun from Kerala's Wayanad, remains undeterred. The last warning letter she received from the Franciscan Clarist Congregation, which comes under the Catholic Church, was on February 2.
"Of course I am being targeted because I supported the nuns protesting against Bishop Franco Mullackal, after their colleague - a nun - raised allegations of sexual abuse against him. I have been a nun with them for 33 years, and all their complaints are based for just one year," Sister Lucy told NDTV with a confident smile.
"I am not judging them (church authorities) still. But they have to open their eyes to the cases of sexual abuses happening to children, women and nuns too... I want to meet Pope Francis and talk to him about sexual abuse within our churches. Priests must be allowed to marry. Priesthood and marriage should go hand in hand," Sister Lucy says with a spirited zeal.
"I did not know these protesting nuns before. I have never seen them before. Only when they started protesting in Kochi, I got to know about them from the media. I haven't heard or seen Bishop Franco before that. But I am a nun and how could I not support the nuns fighting for their justice. I am one of them. These nuns have been isolated from the church. It is a horrible situation. My attitude is to always be with the oppressed, unwanted," an unwavering Sister Lucy said.
Sister Lucy teaches higher secondary students at a government-aided school near her convent in Wayanad. "My students are very fond of me. They come and encourage me saying 'this is our sister', 'you must fight for the truth'", Sister Lucy said, almost laughing. The church has accused the nun of violating canonical orders, her superiors, dress code, and even questioned her intentions behind getting a driving licence, buying a car and speaking out in public debates since September 28, 2018. It was the time when five nuns from Kottayam had taken to the streets in their official robes, protesting against rape-accused Franco Mullackal.
"My mind says that it is impossible for them to get me out of the convent. There is court, law. There is India to stand by me. There are Indian leaders. We should follow rules of India first. But if I have to face the situation of being expelled, I will still be happy. Because then I will be sister of the whole world," Sister Lucy said.