Monday, June 10, 2024

Vows and finances: Schism nuns face new problems

The schismatic Poor Clares from Belorado in Spain are facing major financial and spiritual problems. 

On their Instagram profile, according to the Spanish newspaper "Vida Nueva" (Sunday), they have called on the Archbishop of Burgos, Mario Iceta who was appointed papal delegate by the Vatican, for wanting to take over the legal representation in this matter by usurping the management of the assets and control over the bank accounts. 

The nuns criticised, among other things, that they would have been obliged to "send the payroll to the archdiocese". 

The monitoring of the financial situation by the Pontifical Delegate was a preventative measure, the archdiocese said according to the report. 

The aim is to ensure proper financial management and prevent suspicious economic activities.

Last Thursday, the papal delegate Archbishop Mario Iceta came to the Poor Clares in Belorado with a delegation to open a possible dialogue with the nuns

According to the Archdiocese of Burgos, however, the former abbess is said to have told the delegation that - with the exception of the notary - "the others were 'not welcome' in the convent and should leave". 

At the same time, the nuns called the police. 

The notary was able to deliver the relevant notices from the court and the necessary "civil and canonical summonses" to the nuns, while the delegation provided information on how to proceed.

According to the renegade nuns' Instagram text, the archdiocese wanted to resolve the situation with financial help: "They are offering financial help as they have appropriated ownership of the current accounts and we do not have access to the funds we earn through our work and which have been donated by our benefactors," the text reads. 

In addition to the criticism, the nuns also shared a photo of the summons issued by the ecclesiastical court of Burgos for each nun to testify in connection with the schism. If they do not appear, they are threatened with excommunication.

In addition to the canonical and economic conflicts, the schismatic nuns are currently also in a state of sacramental limbo. 

According to a report by "Religion Digital" on Sunday, the excommunicated Bishop Pablo de Rojas, who is currently acting as the nuns' spiritual guide, says that all previously received sacraments are "invalid, with the exception of the sacrament of baptism". 

For this reason, the Poor Clares must receive First Communion and Confirmation again, as they received these sacraments in the Church after the Second Vatican Council, which de Rojas and his association do not recognise.

Schism bishop calls for renewal of vows

According to the report, the bishop emphasised that baptism is valid in the Catholic Church "because the matter of the sacrament is water and the sacramental form is also the same". 

De Rojas also explained that vows of chastity, obedience and poverty, once taken, are not valid. 

The vows are to be taken again in a new ceremony after receiving communion and confirmation. 

A new abbess would also have to be elected. 

De Rojas assured, among other things, that "the sisters must be in retreat for a few days" before they can receive the sacraments.

The case of the schismatic Poor Clares has been making headlines for several weeks. 

Only recently, the Archdiocese of Burgos called on the schismatic Bishop Pablo de Rojas and the unofficial spokesman and spiritual counsellor of the apostate nuns to leave the controversial convent, to leave the controversial convent

The diocese threatened to take legal action. 

In mid-May, the abbess of the Poor Clares caused a scandal in a public statement when she renounced the church on behalf of all 16 nuns. 

At the same time, they joined the schismatic bishop, who was excommunicated after an irregular episcopal consecration. 

The Order of Poor Clares in Spain and Portugal finally separated from the Poor Clares.  

One of the 16 sisters has already leftbecause she did not agree with the abbess's decision.