Texas nuns sue bishop after he accuses Mother Superior of having sex with priest
Posted For: Willie Wonka, HMFWIC
A group of Carmelite nuns accused a Texas bishop of “pure evil” after he shut down their monastery over allegations that their Mother Superior had sex with a priest.
The Arlington-based Discalced Carmelite Nuns filed a lawsuit against Bishop Michael Olson of the Fort Worth Diocese after he ordered the seizure of computers and a phone and barred priests from conducting mass at their monastery over allegations that Mother Superior Teresa Agnes Gerlach broke her vow of chastity, according to reports.
According to the lawsuit, filed in Tarrant County Court, Olson burst into the monastery last month and began interrogating Gerlach over the alleged affair.
The grilling came immediately after the nun, who uses a wheelchair, had undergone a surgical procedure and was still under the effects of general anesthesia and pain medication, including fentanyl, reports say.
The diocese says she admitted to the affair, but the sisters’ attorney, Matthew Bobo, said in a statement to Catholic News Agency earlier this week that Gerlach was “under heavy medication from a procedure” and does not recall what she admitted.
“They are making it sound like she had some sexual liaison affair with another priest and that did not happen,” Bobo said.
“[Bishop Olson] and his agents are abusing their power, inflicting moral violence and psychological distress on the plaintiffs and the sisters by undertaking an illegal, unholy, unwarranted, explicit, and systematic assault upon the sanctity and autonomy of the plaintiffs and the sisters,” Bobo said.
This week, the Diocese of Fort Worth posted a statement on its website, saying the Reverend Mother had “violated her vow of chastity with a priest from outside the Diocese of Fort Worth.”
It filed a response to the nuns’ lawsuit Thursday, calling the matter an “ecclesiastical dispute” that has no place in a civil court, the Catholic News Agency reported.