Former Kerala nun pens a book, discloses sexuality in convents

February 27th, 2009 - 9:54 pm ICT by ANI  

By Juhan Samuel
Calicut (Kerala), Feb.27 (ANI): A former catholic nun in Kerala has penned down an autobiographical account of sexual abuses prevailing in convents besides ill treatment being meted out by superiors to nuns.
Soon to be available in Indian markets, the book titled Amen - Autobiography of a Nun by former nun Dr. Sister Jesme from the Catholic Church in Kerala of Southern India, highlights the little known moral corruption for public knowledge.
Dr. Sister Jesme from the Catholic Church in Kerala of Southern India recently had the book published in Malayalam language. But it will soon be published in other languages including English.
Jesme, in her book, states various incidents of harassment and sexual activities prevailing in the convents besides narrating her personal trauma during her nunhood.
Fifty two-year-old Sister Jesme says, With this book I want the society to know what is happening to the sisters in convents.
Jesme quit the Congregation of Mother Carmelite (CMC) on August 31st last year after spending around 30 years of religious life. Her superiors described her mentally sick and sent her to rehabilitation centre.
Jesme has now chosen to expose malpractices within the Order.
The book reveals how a fellow nun pushed Jesme into a relationship and when she reported the matter to a senior nun, her complaint fell on deaf ears. It also reveals how lesbianism is the preferred relation because there is no chance of getting pregnant in that. And, there are nuns who had affairs with priests.
Mentioning about one of the incidents in the book, Jesme talks about her encounter with a priest in Bangalore while on her way to Dharwar to attend a Union Grants Commission (UGC) refresher course in English.
When I reached Bangalore, a priest was waiting to receive me. He embraced me and took me to his presbytery. After breakfast, he took me to Lalbagh (Botanical Garden) and showed me several pairs cuddling behind trees. He also gave a sermon on the necessity of physical love and talked about the illicit affairs certain bishops and priests had, the book states.
The book has already created tensions among the clergy members across the state.
This book has already raised eyebrows of the higher clergies in the churches who are yet to decide on the future course of action. They also agree that these allegations can tarnish the image of churches as well as nuns, says Fr. Paul Thelakkat, Spokesperson of Syro-Malabar Church in Kerala.
Jesme holds a doctorate and master of philosophy from Calicut University in English as her core subject and has also been a reader in a college for a few years.
Sister Jesme, during her stint at CMC, held various important posts the last among them being the Principal of St. Mary’’s College in Thrissur district. She presently lives in Kozhikode city.
Born as Meamy Raphel to CV Raphel (father), she chose to dedicate her life for the nun hood at a young age.
Penguin Books will publish the translated version of this book in English, Hindi and Marathi. The book to be titled Amen Autobiography of a nun” will be in the stalls by March first week and the author is sure it will ring the bells at Vatican. (ANI)

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