Church stunned by sex scandal in Kerala

By: John Malhotra
Friday, 27 June 2008, 23:43 (IST)
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Christians in southern Kerala were stunned after a sex scandal involving a Catholic nun was circulated over mobile phones and the Internet, last week.

The Congregation of the Mother of Carmel, a religious order under the Catholic Church expelled the 37–year–old woman, after a video featured the nun having illicit relationship with a driver for a Christian hospital in Aluva.

"This is really embarrassing for the church," Archbishop Daniel Acharuparambil of Verapoly, president of the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council said.

The Archbishop was however glad that the Church acted "promptly and in exemplary manner" adding, "when things like this happen, we have to deal with it sternly."

"This incident shows that religious life demands great sacrifice and constant vigil against human frailties," the archbishop said.

A superior head of the congregation, Sister Vincent Mary said, "When we came to know about it, we confirmed it with the nun and she agreed to leave the congregation" for breaking her vows.

The Church fears that, the incident is a sign of the growing communal power in the state, which uses its "devilish dimension and plot with a clear agenda of maligning the Church," according to Father Paul Thelakkat, of the Syro Malabar Catholic Church in Kerala.

"Everyone in the church and every decent man or woman will feel ashamed of it and feel sorry about it," he added.

When the media questioned Father Thelakkat, if the incident would have a negative impact, the Christian leader said, "Nothing would dampen the enthusiasm of the church in Kerala, which is known as the "vocation garden" of India.”

Kerala, which renders about 60 percent of the country's 120,000 sisters and priests, has over 20% Christians.

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Have your say on this article

Added: Sunday, 6 July 2008, 5:46 (IST)

Violations in the world is going to its maximum extent in every class and communities. The subject incident is really shamefull to all keralites, since it has been spread all over the world. It is quite normal of all human adults as they opt to perform sexual sins whenever they get such circumstances; it will be regardless of their believeness or religious bindings or any thouught of forthcoming results.Because they are human being as they are formed with sexual feelings. In the incident of that sister the real culprit is the driver, whom trusted and believed by his lover( even though she is a nun). So I request the officials of church mainly two things. 1. Do not harras the sister, since she agreed about the sin what she commited. Let her leave in peaceful life in the future. If possible rehabilitate her in any distant place arranging with a suitable marriage with anybody who can understand and admit her. 2. No need to feel much shame by the church on account of this incident. Because in all religious sectors there are poeple of sin and devotional both. When there is a sin occured only we can see the sacrifice of other people who are still in the path of rightiousness. Try to trace the driver and bring in front of justice BECAUSE HE IS THE REAL SINNER

SHAH HASSAN, Kozhikode, India

Added: Tuesday, 12 August 2008, 3:40 (IST)

Not 2 make a big issue. It is quiet natural and biologically correct. To sin is human but 2 forgive is divine. Hate the sin, not the sinner. She should not have been dismissed. Give her support and a chance to reform....The driver should have been emasculated. Not to pardon him. He is so treacherous n cunning....

Skylark, India

Added: Wednesday, 17 September 2008, 5:07 (IST)

I have quite a few many things to say about this. 1st off in this case it takes 2 people to sin. Do not just blame the guy because he is a guy the nun also should take responsibility she has also sinned. Second off alot of the nuns and priest end up becoming priest as a way to get out off poverty or pushed in to it by a family member not because they choose on their own free will to go in to it. The sexual abuse cases by the catholic church has gone far enough. More than half the rules by the church has been made by man to control man. If it was up to them we would all be in the dark ages slaves to them. Take it from a devout catholic who has studied the doctrine.

Raj Thomas, USA

Added: Wednesday, 1 October 2008, 11:45 (IST)

My thoughts are that she is a human being, a woman, in her late thirties... And she would have spent around 15 years (??) doing community service. The act of recording video & publishing it is deplorable, it can happen to anyone... given the pervasiveness of mobile cameras among perverts... It throws some light on the 'divine call' - real or marketed business. The church washed off its hands despite the services she did - wonderful. But has anyone thought about how she will live the rest of her life? Or is it that the sinner has to undergo this? That is cruel...

Santosh, Morristown NJ

Added: Friday, 20 February 2009, 22:04 (IST)

Muslim Women are not oppressed : Mrs. Samrah Sher People often fail to distinguish between culture and religion, Two things that are completely different.. Everybody focuses to Muslim women worldwide as oppressed, more specifically the Muslim Women of Afghanistan. The media shows us how oppressed the Muslim women are there and people start linking three words in their minds: ‘Islam,’ ‘women’ and ‘oppression.’ Therefore, they think that Islam commands oppressing women. People often fail to distinguish between culture and religion, two things that are completely different. In fact, Islam condemns oppression of any kind whether it is towards a woman or in general. Now, the Qur'an is the sacred book by which Muslims live. This book was revealed 14 centuries ago to a man named Muhammad who would later become the Prophet. Fourteen centuries have passed and this book has not been changed since, not one letter has been altered. In surah number 33, entitled Al-Ahzab (Arabic for 'The Clans'), on verse 59, it says: “O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw cloaks all over their bodies. That will be better as they shall be known (as free respectable women) and will not be annoyed. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.” This verse shows that Islam makes wearing a Hijab necessary, Hijab is the word used for covering, not only the headscarves (as some people may think) but also wearing loose clothes that are not too bright. Sometimes, people see covered Muslim women and they think oppression. This is wrong. A Muslim woman is not oppressed, but she is liberated. This is because she is no longer valued for something material such as her good looks or the shape of her body. She compels others to judge her for her intelligence, kindness, honesty and personality. Therefore, people judge her for who she actually is. Women cover their hair to be modest. When they wear loose clothes, they are trying to be modest. In fact, nuns cover their hair out of modesty. Also, when we see frequent pictures of the Virgin Mary, she is covering her hair out of modesty. Therefore, Muslim women are doing the exact same thing as righteous Christian women. The lives of the people who accepted the Qur'an changed drastically. It had a tremendous impact on so many people, especially women. It was the first time openly declared that the souls of men and women are equal. They would be bestowed the same obligation as well as the same rewards. In addition to being equal to men, women get economic independence. The money they bring into marriage is theirs as well as the money they earn. A woman is allowed in Islam to choose their own husbands and in extreme cases, divorce. A woman has the right to be educated, contrary to what the contemporary world might think. The responsibility is of the person who is raising her. Now picture this: Fourteen hundred years ago Islam allowed women to vote for a leader. It was recently, in 1925, Canadian women became allowed to vote. Worst, in Quebec, the law became final in 1940. Muslim women got rights before Western women got any. Islam is a religion that holds women in high regard. Long ago, when baby boys were born, they brought great joy to the family. Girls brought less and occasionally none. Actually, girls were hated so much that they were sometimes buried alive. Islam was always against this female infanticide. The two great roles a woman plays in life are a wife and a mother. The Prophet once said to a group of men: “The best among you are those who are the best to their wives.” This shows that Islam highly encourages the well treating of the wives. This should be shown love, respect and care. A man came to the Prophet, sallallahualayhe wa sallam, and asked: “Who among my kinfolk is worthy of my good companionship?” The Prophet, sallallahu alavhe wa sallam, replied: "Your mother" three times before saying: “Your father.” This indicates the impact that a mother has in a person's life. So women are highly honored in this great religion. Islam is a only religion that treats women fairly. Oppression is condemned. I hope all of you know and remember this.

mohammed, india kerala

Added: Tuesday, 24 March 2009, 10:05 (IST)

Personally I feel that the Nuns & Priests should be allowed to get married instead of making an issue out of not trying to find a solution a long standing solution one that will solve such types of problems as it is we clearly know that there is politics of an ugly kind in the church so instead of trying to fish in troubled waters all concerned should work out solutions is my humble opinion I am teacher by profession thank you

philip, Bangalore India

Added: Monday, 5 October 2009, 12:44 (IST)

it is a dispute in the religion. this dispute is to be solved in the religious terms itself. the society has changed and it needs to have a greater training for the priests and nuns to stick to the life of chastity or obedience. we cannot say say that the people out side these sects for eg. shall be adopted as such. but in the regourous training needed is declared in this matter.

josey, erkm

Added: Sunday, 12 September 2010, 23:36 (IST)

I once had high regard for Nuns and priests in catholic church . Most of the nuns and priests are literally frauds and enjoy a high profile life style and show man status utilizing average man's ignorance

rakesh, cochin

Added: Monday, 10 June 2013, 19:50 (IST)

how to joun nun?

christy, coimbatore

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