Gay ruling will subdue homosexuality in convents, says former nun

Published 09 July 2009  |  
A former nun, whose controversial autobiography caused much embarrassment to the Catholic Church, hailed the gay judgment of Delhi High Court that she says will sustain the sanctity of monasteries in India.

Even as churches see red over the July 2 court ruling that legalised homosexuality,
52-year-old Sister Raphael Jesme, a former nun from Kerala, opines that the court ruling will subdue homosexual activities in convents.

"If lesbians could seek partners legally, they would not have to take refuge in a convent. They would not have to languish in the sacred atmosphere of a convent," the nun was quoted writing in a Malayalam weekly.

Sr Jesme had just recently completed her biography Amen - Oru Kanyasthreeyude Atmakatha (Amen - an autobiography of a nun) in English.

In her book, she records the priests and nuns' confessions of adultery and breaking of celibacy vows, and also talks about the sexual harassment she faced at the hands of both priests and nuns.

Jesme was the principal of St. Mary's College in Thrissur till she quit the congregation last August.

Jesme is of an opinion that "if gays find partners outside, nuns would be saved from their advances." She also writes "we have to show concern to the perspective of homosexuals and lesbians who are not born that way." This is "not their fault and the Church has also not explained what God's plan about them is," she adds.

The nun's remarks have come just days after the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) strongly opposed the amending of Section 377 of the IPC which it said was immoral and must be unlicensed.

"Giving the impression that homosexuality is moral will bring in sexual anarchy including child abuse in society. The Indian culture which is founded on self-discipline and asceticism should not be allowed to disintegrate by opening the doors to sexual licentiousness," Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil, president of the CBCI, in a statement said.

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