The latest, from OSV News: 

Bishop Michael F. Olson of Fort Worth, Texas, has dismissed a religious superior from the Carmelite order after finding her guilty of violating the Sixth Commandment and her vow of chastity, which she denies.

The diocese’s June 1 decree announcing the nun’s dismissal said Bishop Olson was acting as “Pontifical Commissary of the Monastery in Arlington,” authority granted him May 31 by the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, a department of the Holy See. The dicastery’s decree was published May 31 on the Diocese of Fort Worth website. It said Bishop Olson assumed the commissary role upon the decree’s communication.

The diocese’s decree stated that following a monthlong investigation, the bishop found Reverend Mother Teresa Agnes Gerlach of Jesus Crucified, a longtime member of the Order of Discalced Carmelites, “guilty of having violated the sixth commandment of the Decalogue and her vow of chastity with a priest from outside the Diocese of Fort Worth.” She has 30 days to appeal the decision to the dicastery, according to the diocese’s decree.

Matthew Bobo, a civil attorney representing Reverend Mother Teresa Agnes and her community, called the dismissal “absolutely unjust and unconscionable in the light of moral, canonical and natural law.”

“Mother Superior will be appealing this immoral and unjust decision that is not subject to canonical action. In addition, the civil lawsuit will continue full speed ahead,” he told OSV News in a June 1 statement, which also requested prayers for the sister.

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Words fail.

This comes after the bishop has banned daily Mass for the cloistered nuns because they have filed a lawsuit against him.

From The Pillar: 

Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth told a monastery of cloistered Carmelite nuns Friday that he will continue to ban the celebration of daily Mass at the convent in response to a lawsuit filed against him by the religious sisters. The bishop will also restrict the nuns’ access to the sacrament of confession, he told the nuns.

Olson told the nuns in a May 26 letter that daily access to Mass at their monastery would be restored to the sisters only if, and when, they drop the lawsuit against him.

The conflict between Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth and the Carmelite Monastery of the Most Holy Trinity began last month, when Olson told a community of cloistered nuns that he was investigating allegations of sexual misconduct against their superior, and that she could be dismissed from the Carmelite order.

Bishop Michael F. Olson of Fort Worth, Texas, delivers remarks at St. Sophia Ukrainian Catholic Church in The Colony, Texas, March 6, 2022, during a prayer service for peace in Ukraine. (CNS photo/Juan Guajardo, North Texas Catholic)

The bishop has since prohibited daily Mass at the monastery, confiscated computers and a phone, and announced publicly that Mother Teresa Agnes of Jesus Crucified Gerlach, O.C.D. had allegedly conducted a sexual affair with a priest.

The bishop has further threatened all of the nuns of the Carmel with expulsion from their order in retaliation for what he has called “obstruction” of his investigation into their superior.

In the letter, addressed to Sr. Therese Sharp of the Carmelite monastery, Olson said he is “respectfully informing” the sisters that since there is no canonical right or obligation for the sisters to attend daily Mass except “when it can be conveniently done,” or to have their confessions heard beyond the canonical minimum requirement of once a year, it is his determination that “at the present moment, daily Mass and Confessions cannot be conveniently provided for the Monastery.”

“This is because you and Mother Teresa Agnes (Gerlach) of Jesus Crucified, O.C.D., have lodged a civil lawsuit, together with a request for a protection order, against me and the Diocese of Fort Worth,” Olson explained in his letter.

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