Carmelite Nuns in Arlington, Texas, Reject the Vatican's Decree and Bishop Olson's Authority - the Diocese Asks for Prayer

The Carmelite nuns of Arlington, Texas have rejected the Vatican decree concerning their monastery in a 4 page statement. Two religious sisters of the Vatican's Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life issued a statement handing over governance of the Carmelite Monastery to religious Association of Christ the King (Carmelite). The feud began when the former prioress, Reverend Mother Superior Teresa Agnes Gerlach, admitted to violating her vow of chastity online and over the phone with a priest. The prioress, was therefore defrocked, but has since retracted her confession and claims was given when she was medically ill and recovering from an operation.
SEE ALSO: Vatican's Dicastery Announces New Governance for the Arlington Carmelite Nuns
 She filed a million dollar lawsuit against the bishop for defamation, among other things, which the judge dismissed. The governance was supposed to be in place until the monastery could hold new elections to replace its leadership. The Vatican furthermore ordered the monastery to regularize its relationship with the bishop, whom the nuns forbade from entering the premises and claimed did not have authority over their governance (rejected by the Vatican). The nuns have now rejected the Vatican’s decree and banned Association of Christ the King President Mother Marie of the Incarnation, and any of its delegates, from entering the monastery. “Neither the president of the Association of Christ the King, nor any delegate of hers, is welcome to enter our monastery at this time,” a statement from the monastery read. The nuns referred to the Vatican’s order as “a hostile takeover that we cannot in conscience accept” and accused Rome of making this decision without the “knowledge or consent” of the monastery.
The Diocese of Fort Worth's Bishop Michael Olson issued a new statement saying 
The most recent statement (April 20, 2024) of the Arlington Carmel’s former leadership is sad and troubling because it manifests a skewed and selective misunderstanding of the nature of the Catholic Church and of the charism of the monastic life. It is a slap at the nuns who are their sisters in the Carmelite order. It is an apparent rejection of the ministry of the Holy See’s Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. The Holy See has acted in a way to promote and foster unity in Christ for the healing of the Arlington Carmel and of each of the nuns who are members of the community—not simply the former prioress and her former councilors. This is an internal church matter that the former prioress continues to attempt to exploit in the civil court—in which it has no standing. Please pray for all of the nuns that they accept the legitimate leadership of their Association entrusted to them by the Holy See.
Excerpts from the Statement of the Arlington Nuns:
In respect of these documents, we wish to state:
• We are thankful that the Holy See believes that “every effort should be made to
preserve the spiritual health and longevity of the Arlington Carmelite Monastic
Community.” We do, however, think that “every effort” could and should include active
and ongoing dialogue with we ourselves, and we are surprised and disappointed that
these documents have been published without any such dialogue.
• Additionally, we continue to wait for the responses to the recourses we sent to Rome
last year against the illegal action of the Bishop, as promised by the Secretary of the
Dicastery in a letter to us received in early February. The letters dated April 18, 2024,
sent by the Dicastery are perplexing, since the responses to our recourses have yet to be
received, and are not normally pre-empted.
• We are grateful that, albeit implicitly, these documents reject a number of the abusive
acts of Bishop Olson towards us, for we note that he accepts that he is no longer a
“Pontifical Commissary” in respect of our monastery.
If Rome wishes to ‘save face’ and to sweep the issue of the abuse of the Bishop under
the carpet and move on regardless, this is unacceptable. In justice the issue of Bishop
Olson must be dealt with for our good and for the good of the Diocese of Fort Worth as
a whole.
• The ‘request’ of the Carmelite Association of Christ the King (USA) to take over the
governance of our monastery, made with the “counsel and full support” of Bishop
Olson, which Rome has accepted without our knowledge or consent, is in effect a
hostile takeover that we cannot in conscience accept.
To accept this would risk the integrity of our monastery as a community, threatening
the vocations of individual nuns, our liturgical and spiritual life and the material assets
of the monastery. This outside authority could easily disperse us, impose its agenda in
respect of our daily observance and dispose of our assets—even of the monastery
itself—as it wishes, contrary to our vows and to the intentions of those who founded
our community and our benefactors.
Accordingly, neither the President of the Association of Christ the King, nor any
delegate of hers, is welcome to enter our monastery at this time.
• The technical ‘problem’ of the expiration of terms of office last January that Rome uses
as a motivation for their ‘solution’ can be solved in any number of other ways—
including by Rome’s extension of such terms of office for a suitable period while the
issues at hand are addressed equitably. It is our understanding that while matters are
under appeal, nothing is to be changed and the status quo is to be preserved.
We hope and pray that Rome will engage in dialogue with us directly to find a suitable
way of moving forward that respects the integrity of our life and monastery.
We take this opportunity to state before Almighty God, and before all, that, in conscience we
believe that it is our duty in the current circumstances faithfully to persevere according to our
vows in our life and vocation of prayer and penance in the Carmelite tradition. To do anything
less would be to dishonor our founders and the great saints of our Order.
We note that every US citizen is entitled to justice according to the law. Religious Profession
does not cancel that right. Episcopal Consecration does not give the one consecrated the
power to violate it. Last year we ceased our civil action so that the Holy See could proceed with
their own processes. Once we receive the responses to the recourses, we will instruct our civil
lawyers to review the option of the further vindication and protection of our civil rights.