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UPDATE: Texas Carmelites may be excommunicated after public letter rejecting Bishop Olson’s authority

Bishop Michael F. Olson of Fort Worth, Texas, leads morning prayer in a file photo from Sept. 21, 2018. (OSV News photo/Tyler Orsburn, CNS)

ARLINGTON, Texas (OSV News) — Bishop Michael F. Olson of Fort Worth said Aug. 19 that a community of Carmelites in his diocese, and their prioress in particular, may have incurred excommunication after posting a letter online Aug. 18 saying their community no longer recognizes his authority, 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 a 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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