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Texas Carmelites say they no longer recognize Bishop Olson’s authority

Sister Teresa Agnes Gerlach, of Jesus Crucified, former prioress of the Monastery of the Most Holy Trinity in Arlington, Texas, and Bishop Michael F. Olson of Fort Worth are pictured in an undated combination photo. The monastery appears to have released a statement Aug. 18, under the signature of "the Reverend Mother Prioress and Chapter" declaring the community will no longer recognize the authority of the Bishop of Fort Worth, and will, at the same time, embrace "older forms of the Roman rite according to the traditional Discalced Carmelite usages" in their liturgical worship. (OSV News photo/courtesy Matthew Bobo/Bob Roller)

BRIEF: ARLINGTON, Texas (OSV News) — A community of cloistered Carmelite nuns in Arlington, Texas, said they no longer recognize the authority of Bishop Michael F. Olson of Fort Worth, claiming that he has interfered with and humiliated them since initiating an investigation into their prioress in late April.

The nuns of the Monastery of the Most Holy Trinity said in an Aug. 18 statement posted to their website’s homepage that due to the bishop’s alleged treatment of them, they “no longer recognize the authority of, and can have no further relations with, the current Bishop of Fort Worth or his officials, and forbid him or any of his officials or representatives to enter our monastery property or to have any contact or relations with the monastery or any of its nuns or novices.”

The statement follows an investigation Bishop Olson initiated an investigation under church law of the community’s prioress, Reverend Mother Teresa Agnes Gerlach of Jesus Crucified, looking into allegations of her breaking chastity vows via “video chat” with a priest.

Watch your local Catholic news source for the full OSV News story.

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