just like the mohammedans have sharia law, christists have church law. the indian penal code does not apply to them.
and of course, the kkkangress, being the christist party, will strongly oppose any move to prevent the sexual and other oppression of nuns.
not having a uniform civil code, and also this bullshit about "minority rights" are ridiculous.
Kerala women's panel freezes move on nuns
June 12, 2008
Faced with stiff opposition from the powerful Christian Church and
Opposition parties, including the Congress, the Kerala State Commission
for Women, nominated by the CPI(M)-led LDF regime, has decided to put in
cold storage its recommendation for a law to impose restrictions on
girls becoming nuns in Christian convents.
The commission decided on Wednesday to submit its recommendation for a
law to ensure that girls below the age of 18 were not made nuns and for
other controls only after elaborate studies in the context of the
widespread protests and the CPM's official announcement that it was not
interested in the issue. CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan on
Wednesday told newspersons that girls becoming nuns in convents was an
issue of the Christian religion and the Marxist party had nothing to do
The Women's Commission had taken the decision on June 3 while acting
upon a complaint. Suggesting a law for ensuring a higher age limit for
girls to become nuns, the panel had also said that parents who forced
their children to become nuns before the age of 18 should be punishable
under law. It also wanted a portion of ancestral property to be
registered in the name of the nun and a scheme for rehabilitation of
nuns if they quit convents. The Church had seen all this as an
infringement on its religious rights.
The decision taken by the commission, headed by chairperson Justice D
Sreedevi, or the recommendation for law on nuns had become a huge
controversy after various leaders and priests aired strong objections to
it, saying the Church had its own stringent laws regarding induction of
nuns and their life. The Church had interpreted the decision of the
commission as part of a conspiracy to defame and destroy it.
The Congress demanded the resignation of commission chairperson Justice
Sreedevi, who had admitted that the panel had not conducted any studies
before deciding to recommend the revolutionary law. State Congress
president Ramesh Chennithala said the commission's move was a
continuation of the programme designed by the CPM to restrict the
constitutional rights and freedom of religious minorities.
Sources said the commission's decision to impose a freeze on its move
was the direct result of the CPM's not looking interested in it. The new
controversy is detrimental to the interests of the CPM, which has
already been facing opposition on various fronts from the Church, in the
context of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
The CPM State secretary said the party had nothing to do with nuns or
the commission's recommendation. He said no discussions had taken place
in the party on the matter. The CPM is already facing the Church's ire
on several issues.
The Kerala Catholic Bishops' Conference said the commission's decision
was "an accident" which occurred due to its ignorance. The Church had
earlier clarified that its canon laws had prescribed the minimum age for
girls for being appointed nuns as 18 years. It had also clarified that
no girl could be made a nun unless she chose the path herself.
Kerala women's panel, Church lock horns over nuns
J Gopikrishnan | New Delhi
The Pioneer, June 10, 2008
Commission objects to bequeathal of adolescent girls'
properties to Church
A major controversy has erupted in Kerala with the State
women's commission asking the CPI(M)-led Government to enact a law
barring appointment of girls under 18 years of age as nuns by churches.
Accusing the Church of "brain-washing adolescent girls" to accept
"sisterhood", the commission has called for protection of their property
The issue has brought the Church and the State Government face to
face, with the clergy launching a 'crusade' against the women's
commission. The Congress has sided with the Church and dubbed the
commission's recommendation "anti-minority".
The recommendations, mooted by KWC chairperson Justice D Sreedevi,
include banning the entry of girls below the age of 18 into convents,
penal provisions for parents and/or persons forcing the girls into
sisterhood, ensuring that the property rights of girls appointed by
convents are protected and re-habilitation of those withdrawing from
'sisterhood'. The other recommendations which irked the Church are
preventing the bequeathal of nuns' properties to the Church and
provisions for retrieval of such properties as and when nuns decide to
quit the convent.
The Church has vehemently opposed the KWC move and described the
recommendations as a "thoughtless process". It was allowing only girls
above 18 years of age as nuns, it clarified.
"The commission's remarks have hurt the sentiments of the
community of nuns and priests, who have been serving the society
irrespective of caste and creed for centuries," said the Major
Archbishop of Syro Malankara Catholic Church in a Press release. He said
that the commission should have studied the issue before commenting on
it. "According to our canon, no person can become a priest or nun
without attaining 18 years of age. However, prescribing an age limit for
a person interested in priesthood would be a breach of individual
freedom," he said.
"As a matter of fact, no woman can be a nun before the age of 20.
Then too, a person takes temporary vows initially," Rev Dr Babu Jospeh,
spokesperson for the Catholic Bishop Council of India, said.
But the KWC chairperson refutes the arguments. "I have seen a lot
many incidents to the contrary and received several complaints. I agree
that a girl becomes a nun only after 18 or 20. My objection is against
the recruitment of poor girls at the age of 12 or 13 by
providing/promising free education, accommodation and offering money to
their parents," Justice Sreedevi told The Pioneer over telephone from
"The girls are being moulded or brainwashed at a tender age to
accept the life of nuns. This is not fair. How can a parent decide the
fate of his daughter without her consent? I am not against any religion.
I am here for social justice and empowerment of women," argued Justice
While the Church denied appointing under-18 girls to the convent,
it stoutly defended the property right provisions. "As regards the right
to family property, first of all it is the prerogative of parents to
bequeath their property to their children. As per the Church rules, the
share of property given to a religious person becomes the property of
the organisation he/she belongs to.
This is so because of (a) a religious person voluntarily renounces
the right to individual ownership of property at the time of becoming a
permanent member of a religious congregation; (b) a religious person is
entitled to all the legitimate rights within the religious congregation;
and (c) in a religious congregation all properties are held in common,"
said Rev Dr Babu Jospeh.
"It would have been highly desirable had the Kerala Women's
Commission ascertained all the right information regarding the Church's
practices and then made its recommendation," he added.
However, dissenting notes were heard from within the community.
Joseph Pulikunnel, who has been campaigning for reforms in the Catholic
Church, termed the commission recommendation "a landmark". He said there
were cases of girls below 18 years of age, especially those from poor
families, who had been forced to join convents. Then, he added, there
had been instances of nuns who left convents after some years and failed
to get back their family assets. He chose to describe the commission's
recommendations as an issue of human rights rather than that of
To get the early-bird advantage, the Congress spared no time in
reacting. State Congress president Ramesh Chennithala slammed the KWC
recommendations as "anti-minority" and demanded the ouster of Justice
Sreedevi. Reacting to the Congress' allegation, Justice Sreedevi said
she was sad about the stand of political parties "who are supposed to
lead the moves ensuring social justice and empowerment of women".
"Such parties should look at their past and glorious deeds of
their predecessors in a bid to achieve social justice. But now all of
them are looking for vote banks. Anyway, I am committed to my point and
there's no going back," she added.
Major provisions in the recommendation
a.. Ban the entry of under-18 girls to convents
a.. Prosecute parents/persons forcing girls to become nuns
a.. Protect the family share of girls who become nuns
a.. Nuns' properties should not be bequeathed to churches
a.. Rehabilitate girls who leave churches