30-Apr-2017

Christian groups in Kerala seek probe into forcible administration of psychiatric drugs to nuns

Rajashri Ponnappa plays a battered nun in the Malayalam film Father, Son & The Holy Spirit. Image Courtesy Outlook
 
KOCHI Dec 24: The leaders of the various Christian Reformation Movements like the Kerala Catholic Church Reformation Movement (KCRM), Joint Christian Council and Catholic Priests and Ex-Priests and Nuns’ Association submitted a joint memorandum to the Chief Minister seeking an impartial crime Branch probe into Sr Mary Sebastian’s allegation that nuns are forcibly administered drugs by the Catholic Church for mental illness.
 
“Sr Mary Sebastian of Nasreth Bhavan Convent, Cherpunkal in Kottayam,in a complaint filed before the Human Rights Commission, has clearly explained the grave crime taking place at the convents. Since the allegation has been levelled against those with political, economic and social influence, we apprehend that there will not be a free and fair investigation,” a release from Open Church movement chairman Reji Njellani and KCRM president K George Joseph.
 
Besides, they sought the intervention of the  National Human Rights Commission(NHRC),while urging action against the doctors, who supported the crime.
 
“Many nuns have had unnatural deaths. Even the Church leadership on several occasions made it abundantly clear that nuns, who died under mysterious circumstances and the others who left the convent were mental patients. How could it be that a woman who joined the convent in a perfectly normal state of mind became mentally unstable over the years?” they pointed out.
 
According to the joint memorandum, the Church leadership had levelled a false allegation against Sr Mary Sebastian.
 
“She was confined for 20 days at a house in a remote village in Kothamangalam. Sr Mary was accused of being in a relationship with a priest.However, no acton was initiated against him. Another nun, who resisted the unwarranted advances from a priest, was thrown out of the  convent. The issue was settled later by paying a compensation of `12 lakh.”