Carmelite nuns face dismissal over alleged sexual misconduct by superior

sexual misconduct allegations

A Texas bishop has issued dismissal threats against an entire monastery of Carmelite nuns as he investigates sexual misconduct allegations by their superior.

The Carmelite Monastery of the Most Holy Trinity, located in Arlington, Texas, is embroiled in a conflict with Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth.

Olson claims to be investigating allegations of sexual misconduct against Mother Teresa Agnes of Jesus Crucified Gerlach, the monastery’s superior.

According to the diocese, the nun in question has admitted to sexual misconduct.

However, the Carmelites have taken legal action against Bishop Olson, seeking a restraining order and stating that their superior was interrogated while in a state of opioid-induced delirium following surgery.

“You have to understand,” a source close to the nuns, who is not authorised to speak on the record, told The Pillar, “she was in-and-out of lucidity because this was really serious medication she had taken. And in that state, she told one nun and the vicar general, that she had committed some sin against the sixth commandment.”

“She was crying and upset, but she didn’t give any details about any of this, and we didn’t really know what she was talking about. And sometimes she said that it was a violation against chastity which she committed on the phone. So, it didn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

“Mother has very serious medical problems and a full-time caregiver,” the source told The Pillar.

“There has been someone always by her side, for months. The notion that she committed some secret sexual sin with a priest — even on the phone — doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. It is much more likely that this whole thing was a hallucination.”

Money lies at the heart of the conflict

The nuns’ lawyer Matthew Bobo has argued that money, rather than sexual misconduct, lies at the heart of the conflict between Olson and the monastery.

Bobo told The Pillar that he believes Olson seized the monastery’s computer and other electronic devices in order to gain access to their donor database and other financial records.

“Since Olson became bishop of the diocese, he has been trying everything he can to obtain their donor list,” the lawyer said.

“They have a very strong network of supporters financially who support them, and not necessarily the Diocese of Fort Worth.

“He has gone to great lengths to try to obtain that list and, because he took their devices and was able to obtain a copy of their contents, he now has that information — he has the donor databases, he has all the monastery’s financial information. And that’s a primary purpose of the civil suit is to get that back, because it’s their private property.“

The lawyer also alleged that Olson would like to see the monastery closed, so that the diocese can acquire its property, and alleged that Olson opposes the nun’s traditionalist liturgical and devotional practices — though he did not provide evidence of those allegations.

A spokesman for the diocese told The Pillar that Bobo’s accusations to that effect are “false and unfounded.”


The Pillar

UCA News


Additional reading

News category: Great reads, World.

Tags: , , ,