Spain: The Case of the Belorado Poor Clares Ends in Excommunication Amid ‘Confusion’

After numerous twists and turns, the Archbishop of Burgos decreed the excommunication for schism of 10 Poor Clares. They were also expelled from consecrated life, no longer recognized as religious by the Church.


Vatican City (06/23/2024 10:00, Gaudium Press) The case of the Poor Clares of Belorado has reached a tragic conclusion, as every excommunication is a tragedy.

After numerous twists and turns, the Archbishop of Burgos, as pontifical commissioner and legal representative of the monasteries of Belorado, Oruña, and Derio, decreed the excommunication for schism of 10 former Poor Clares from this monastery. They were also expelled from consecrated life, no longer recognized as religious by the Church. (To access the original Spanish Communiqué from the Archdiocese of Burgos, click here).

However, “there still exists a monastic community composed of the Sisters who did not incur excommunication, as they did not support the schism: these are the five older Sisters and three other Sisters who, although not currently in the monastery, still belong to the community as they are incardinated in it,” according to the statement from the Archbishop of Burgos.

The decree of excommunication is still fresh, but considering the trajectory of history, the Catholic world is already questioning: what happened? How could ten cloistered nuns, who are everywhere examples of piety, humility, and sound doctrine, be excluded from the Roman Church?

“The history of the Church is full of heretics and schismatics, and many of them, if not all, are those who claim purity of doctrine,” some will quickly point out. But in this case, there are aspects that deserve consideration.

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The ex-Clares are now under the “care” of a “puppet” – according to Sister Maria Amparo, the only nun who left that monastery, referring to Bishop Pablo de Rojas – something that adds intrigue to the matter. What moved these nuns to submit to someone without any relevance, as has been reported in recent days?

On social media, there are abundant comments about the incident, and typically, those who comment do not question the justice and necessity of the grave measure taken. Many point to the possibility of double standards: why excommunicate this group but allow others who defend heresies to continue freely in their heterodoxies? Moreover, there are various allusions on social media to the lack of action by the Vatican in the face of the many heterodoxies propagated in the context of the German Synodal Way and the German Church.

This case seems to be a minor issue for several reasons, including that – whether just an excuse or not – from the beginning, the excommunicated of Belorado claimed the ‘confusion’ from the hierarchy as the main reason for their decisions, which does not align with what they professed when they made their vows.

Indeed, the “confusion” within the Church and even among elements of the hierarchy is a fact recognized at the highest level, as recently highlighted by Cardinal Robert Sarah at The Catholic University of America, stating categorically that “the crisis does not reside so much in the secular world and its evils, but rather in the lack of faith within the Church itself.”

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Is it not evident that this current state of confusion – described by the Guinean Cardinal as an environment where “everything becomes conditional and subjective” and, in many Catholic circles, there is a tendency to “ignore Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium” – is conducive to the influence of ‘puppets’ like Pablo de Rojas, who present themselves as defenders of truth and Christian tradition, attracting to their networks unsuspecting, confused, and distressed people? Everything indicates yes.

In this context, the lack of measures regarding the numerous deviations found in the so-called German Synodal Way – which moves forward towards establishing a “synodal councils” Church, alien to the Church that Christ left – is certainly a factor generating anguish and perplexity, and enables the emergence of pseudo-messiahs disguised as defenders of Tradition.

At this point, Cardinal Sarah’s appeal to bishops to exercise their mission as teachers and defenders of the unity of faith, and thus be a source of “clarity for lay faithful,” resounds. It is precisely this lack of clarity, based on Scripture, Tradition, and the Catholic Magisterium, that can be alleged as a supreme lack by the Shepherd of Shepherds, when considering the mission entrusted to bishops when He entrusted them with their flocks. And Christ the Shepherd’s “excommunication” is even more tragic…

In short, it is still too early for an in-depth analysis, and many other factors need to be considered. However, this must be done for the benefit of the Church at a difficult time. (CCM)

Compiled by Gustavo Kralj

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