Arlington nuns turn away newly appointed leader from monastery

The monastery earlier this week dismissed its civil suit against Fort Worth Bishop Michael Olson and the Diocese of Fort Worth.

arlington, Texas — Mother Marie of the Incarnation, President of the Association of Christ the King -- which the Vatican appointed to lead an Arlington monastery following a year of legal drama -- issued a statement Wednesday stating that the same monastery turned her away and would not admit her onto the grounds. 

"Today, in obedience to the Decree of the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, I visited the Arlington Carmel and attempted to present to each Sister the letters which the Dicastery had directed me to give to each individually," the statement reads. "Unfortunately, I was rejected and not granted admittance."

Fort Worth Bishop Michael Olson of the Diocese of Fort Worth said in April that the Association of Christ the King in the United States of America had been entrusted with direct oversight and governance responsibility for the Monastery of the Most Holy Trinity in Arlington, where the Carmelite nuns reside.

Olson issued a statement Wednesday saying he was informed by the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life it had upheld his decisions made last year to investigate the monastery after being informed that its head nun, Mother Teresa Agnes Gerlach, had violated the sixth commandment and her vow of chastity. 

In this same statement, Olson named the priest accused of violating the sixth commandment with Gerlach -- Father Philip G. Johnson, a priest of the Diocese of Raleigh. 

The dicastery, Olson said, also admonished the monastery for obstructing the investigation into the incident. 

"All decisions were made for the good of Mother Teresa Agnes and the Arlington Carmel and its sisters, in accordance with my obligation under canon law and the Rule and Constitutions of the Arlington Carmelites as the local bishop," Olson wrote. 

However, Olson said the Dicastery also had overturned a decree dismissing Gerlach from the Carmelite Order.

Olson further said that Johnson had refused to cooperate with the diocese's investigation into the "admissions made by Mother Teresa Agnes." He had also reported the claims to the Diocese of Raleigh. 

"This appointment by the Dicastery offers Mother Teresa Agnes the opportunity to seek restoration and recovery to live as a faithful member of the Carmelite Order in accordance with her religious vows but without the burdens of leadership that come with the office of prioress," Olson said of Mother Marie's appointment.

These events come two days after a second civil suit filed against the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth and Olson by an Arlington monastery of nuns had been dismissed after the nuns filed a request for dismissal. 

WFAA has reached out to the monastery's attorney, Matthew Bobo, for comment.


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