Sale of property treasures to be prevented

Schismatic Poor Clares: Vatican appoints papal commissioner

Madrid - The case of the apostate Poor Clares of Belorado is entering the next round: The Holy See is now intervening by appointing a papal delegate to mediate in the delicate situation and prevent worse things from happening.

Published  on 29.05.2024 at 15:41  – 

The Vatican has now intervened in the case of the schismatic Poor Clares of Belorado. As Spanish media reported on Wednesday, the Archbishop of Burgos, Mario Iceta (photo above, 2nd from right) was appointed papal representative for the Convention on Monday. Iceta is to act on behalf of the Holy See in the three monasteries concerned and thus prevent the possible sale of properties.

The Pontifical Delegate is to be given control of three monasteries owned by the community: Belorado (province of Burgos), where the schismatic Poor Clares live, Orduna and Derio, whose monastery the Poor Clares want to sell. In order to fulfil the Holy See's mandate, Iceta has appointed an administrative commission, which was presented at a press conference with the Apostolic Nuncio in Spain, Bernardito Auza, on Wednesday afternoon. The members of the commission are Iceta herself, the president of the association of religious orders, the legal advisor of the archdiocese of Burgos responsible for canon law issues and the archdiocese's legal affairs officer responsible for coordinating civil law aspects. The new commission is supported by the Episcopal Delegate for Consecrated Life and the chaplains of the convent.

Commissioner must speak to every sister

Iceta's appointment coincides with the end of the term of office of Abbess Sister Isabel de La Trinidad. She was informed of the end of her term of office and the appointment of the commissioner on Wednesday afternoon. Nuncio Auza emphasised that one of Iceta's tasks was to speak to each individual sister. After a certain period of time, each of them must personally express whether or not they wish to continue to belong to the Catholic Church. In the event of non-compliance with the provisions of the instruction on contemplative life and the dissolution of convents, the entire assets of the convent would fall under the jurisdiction of the religious order.

The case of the apostate Poor Clares has been causing a stir in Spain for several weeks. The Poor Clares, who have another branch in the Basque town of Orduna, made headlines with a public statement in which the abbess renounced the church on behalf of all 16 nuns. At the same time, she announced that the sisters would submit to an equally apostate clergyman named Pablo de Rojas, who is known as the head of the ultra-conservative association "Pia Unio Sancti Pauli Apostoli" based in Bilbao. He does not recognise all popes after Pius XII (1939-1958) and was officially excommunicated in 2019 because he was irregularly ordained a bishop. The Order of Poor Clares in Spain and Portugal announced last week that it would be separating to separate from the community in Belorado. One of the 16 sisters has already left Belorado because she did not agree with the abbess's decision. (mtr)