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There’s a battle brewing in the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth. It all started when a nun was caught sexting with a priest. She was ordered to leave the monastery, but has refused to do so.
Her refusal to leave has caused the head bishop to close the monastery to worshippers. He’s also threatening the sexting nun and her supporters with excommunication. Rev. Mother Superior Teresa Agnes Gerlach was accused of breaking her vow of chastity last year with Father Bernard Marie.
The 43-year-old was kicked out of the Monastery of the Most Holy Trinity in Arlington after an investigation, under the powers of the Vatican, by Bishop Michael Olson, the head of the Diocese of Fort Worth.
Gerlach, who allegedly confessed to only sexting with the priest, has refused to leave. Her refusal to leave is supported by her fellow nuns. The group has now declared their independence from the Bishop.
“The Chapter takes this opportunity to express its complete confidence in the personal and moral integrity of its Mother Prioress and in her leadership,” the monastery’s Carmelite nuns announced.
“Therefore, because the salvation of our souls is our first duty before Almighty God … we hereby state that, in conscience, we no longer recognize the authority of, and can have no further relations with, the current Bishop of Fort Worth.”
Shots fired by nuns. On top of not recognizing the Bishop of Fort Worth’s authority, they’re not allowing him or any of his representatives on the monastery property. They’re also barred from contacting the nuns.
Following the announcement by the nuns, Bishop Olson had some news of his own. He ordered the monastery to be closed to the public. He called on them to publicly disavow itself of Mother Teresa Agnes Gerlach in order to reopen.
Threats Of Excommunication Aren’t Enough For The Sexting Nun And Her Supporters To Back Down
The Bishop also addressed Gerlach, who I should have mentioned earlier is wheelchair-bound, for publicly rejecting his authority as bishop and as a delegate of the Pope for purposes of the investigation.
Then came the threat of excommunication by the Bishop. He warned, “Thus, it is with deep sorrow that I must inform the faithful … that Mother Teresa Agnes, thereby, may have incurred upon herself (i.e. by her own schismatic actions) excommunication.”
The other nuns were also issued a warning of possible excommunication. Those threats were enough for the sexting nun to leave the monastery and end the feud, right? Wrong.
The nuns doubled down on their claim that they no longer recognized the authority of Bishop Olson. The monastery will answer only to “the authority of God.”
This battle has no end in sight. The nuns are upset that worshippers are not allowed to enter their monastery and have lawyered up.
The nuns’ attorney Matthew Bobo repeated that Bishop Olson was not allowed on the property. He also claims the bishop has violated Texas law.
“We would take steps to have him removed. He sent them a letter and said you have to close the gates and you have to have my permission to have anyone come on property,” Bobo said. “That is a clear violation of Texas law.”
There’s no keeping this scandal quiet. The nuns are sticking together and the threats of excommunication aren’t enough to get them to back down. So one of the nuns likes to do a little sexting, where’s the harm in that?