Kerala Catholic Church is facing fresh embarrassment from a tell-all autobiography written
by a nun who recently quit the Order alleging harassment from superiors.
‘Amen — an autobiography of a nun’, released last week, is written by Dr Sister Jesme, 52, who was the Principal of St Mary’s College, Thrissur, till last August when she quit the Congregation of Mother Carmelite (CMC).
“Dedicated to Jesus”, Amen is explicit in its details of the sexual repression and harassment behind the Church walls as well as the draconian rules and “greed” of the Order. Starting with her first days in the Church, 30 years ago, she talks of priests forcing novices to have relations with them and the closet homosexuality within nun ran.
The book says Jesme herself was forced into such a relationship by a fellow nun, and that her complaints to a senior nun were ignored. According to her, the other nun said she preferred such a relationship as it ruled out pregnancy. There were others who had affairs with priests, she writes. Another passage in Amen deals with a chance encounter Jesme had with a priest in Bangalore while on her way to Dharwar to attend a UGC refresher course in English.
Talking about the Church’s draconian rules, Jesme writes in the book that she was not allowed to go home when her father died, or to even pray some extra hours for his soul. “I was able to see my father barely 15 minutes before the funeral. The alibi of the superiors was that the then senior sisters were not even lucky enough to see the bodies of their parents.”
Jesme’s autobiography includes a poignant version by her of how the convent authorities tried to twice prove that she had mental problems and get her admitted into a rehab centre after she reportedly spoke out against the malpractices within the Order.
Other recent controversies in last one year:-
1. A Bishop raised a storm following his decision to adopt a 39-year old woman as his daughter. Bishop John Thattumkal was suspended by the Vatican on Thursday (October 23) for his decision to adopt a 39-year-old woman as his daughter. Bishop Thattumkal is the first Catholic prelate to be suspended in India's 2,000-year-old Church history
2. Anupa Mary, a nun at the St Mary's Convent at Kollam, committed suicide after she was made to do all the chores in the convent and was sexually harassed by the head of the convent.
3. A Church study has found that 25 per cent of nuns in Kerala were not happy with their way of life. incidents of nuns eloping with priests or laymen have been on the rise recently.
4. Sister Abhaya Murder case in which two Catholic priests and a nun were arrested.
5. A nun who was caught on a cellphone video clip having sex in a hospital room in Kochi has been stripped of her nunhood and sent back home. The incident that happened at the hospital run by the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel (CMC) at Aluva has left the clergy stunned
Last year Activists of the youth wing of CPM - Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) took out marches to Hindu ashrams in Kerala Alleging Malpractices there. Will DYFI have BALLS to take out marches against Kerala Catholic Church on the basis of above allegations?