FORT WORTH (TX)
WBAP [Fort Worth TX]
June 2, 2023
A Fort Worth Bishop has dismissed the nun accused of breaking her vow of chastity with a priest.
In a statement, the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth said Reverend Mother Teresa Agnes Gerlach of the Most Holy Trinity Monastery in Arlington violated the Sixth Commandment with a priest from outside the city.
Agnes’ attorney Matthew Bobo has repeatedly denied the accusations that his client admitted the allegations were true.
“I can tell you categorically that did not happen,” he said.
The Diocese said Agnes has thirty days to appeal her dismissal with the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of the Apostolic Life.
Bobo said he and his client plan on doing just that.
“Mother Superior will be appealing this immoral and unjust decision that is not subject to canonical action. In addition, the civil lawsuit will continue full speed ahead.” he said in a statement.
The lawsuit challenges Bishop Michael Olson’s authority over them, arguing that power belongs to the pope.
Pope Frances on Wednesday appointed Olson as his representative over the Carmelite monastery amid the investigation.
The contentious situation has received national attention. Gerlach is in a wheelchair and requires round-the-clock medical care.
She uses a feeding tube and her iPad and cell phone for writing. After the allegation surfaced, Olson reportedly forced Gerlach to turn over her iPad, cell phone and lap top and told the nuns at the monastery that were unable to continue to administrative duties.
Click here to read the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth’s full statement.