Another group of women destroyed by the Vatican Congregation for Religious

Once upon a time we took care of our own and didn’t rely on the nanny state to do everything. Catholics of every level of economic potential and walk of life were concerned with works of mercy, even in organized confraternities and religious orders.

Another group of women engaged in works of mercy has been destroyed by the Congregation for Religious.

Some time back we learned that a group of contemplative women called the Little Sisters of Mary, the Mother of the Redemer, in Saint-Aignan-sur-Roe, France, were being attacked by the local bishop Thierry Scherrer of Laval.

The sisters run four old-peoples homes. They have the Novus Ordo in Latin and in 2012 adopted traditional habits. The bishop thought they were too traditional.

Apparently now so does the Congregation for Religious under Braz Card de Aviz, who destroyed the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.

Visitation in 2016 and 2018 were imposed on the sisters by ultra-liberals (one of the visitors Sister Geneviève Médeviellem, who teaches at the Catholic Institute in Paris, claims that fornication can be justified).


The mother superior and the novice mistress where exiled to distant monasteries and replaced with three modernist commissioners. All the canonical appeals and pleas for mercy were ignored.

On September 17, Cardinal Braz de Aviz, head of the Congregation for Religious, ordered the sisters to accept the commissioner “without reserve” lest they would be dismissed.

34 of 37 sisters announced on November 7 that they had decided in conscience to ask their vows to be dissolved.

They were founded in 1949, and ran four nursing homes in the dioceses of Laval and Toulouse.

Life as a religious in the time of Francis and Braz de Aviz.

Maybe if they had more crystals and mantras, more macrame and Georgia O’Keefe on their walls?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. hilltop says:

    “…. He shall be a Destroyer.”

  2. hilltop says:

    “…. He shall be a Destroyer.”

  3. Gab says:

    Wish I could remember Father’s homily. I know it was good and was about the two widows (one about Elijah, the other from Mark) but I’ve forgotten Father’s major point. I know I wanted to applaud … just can’t remember why now. Straight after the homily, just before the Offertory procession, one of the pastoral team stood up in front of the congregation ( her back to the altar) and reminded people about the sausage sizzle happening on Nov 25 and that sign-up sheets were being passed around for people to indicate if they were going to attend as they had to know numbers for catering. The sheets were passed around then and there. I was dismayed. Yes it’s lovely the parish is holding a sausage sizzle after Mass to welcome new parishioners, but why not wait to announce at the end of Mass, along with all the other notices? Then the Recessional “Hymn” was played: Glen Campbell’s “Try a little kindness”. Saints preserve us from the happy-clappy catholic relics of the 1970s.

    It certainly didn’t feel like I had attended a Catholic Mass.

  4. Gab says:

    Oh I am so sorry. I’ve posted the above onto the wrong thread.

  5. Gabriel Syme says:

    What a terrible shame and another great example of the disorientation and modernist spite currently afflicting the Church.

    I am glad that the sisters will not let themselves be bullied by such behaviour. People should not accept the dog and pony shows which pass for due process in the Church of today. The sisters should not let themselves be chased out of religious life – like it seems might happen, if their vows are dissolved – they obviously have a real vocation and do great work.

    If the present authorities will not treat the sisters fairly, then why not approach the SSPX and ask to form a congregation affiliated with them? I do not say that to be divisive, but there is surely no obligation for deference toward an openly abusive authority. That has been a major SSPX principle from the start. We cannot go along with that is clearly wrong, just as (for example) a Policeman could never accept an order from his Superior to commit some crime (big or small). It is important to *recognise* the proper authorities always, but that doesn’t mean they can get away with murder.

    Anyway, they would not want for support or donations, being in France. If it was just 1 or 2 sisters, joining an existing congregation would make sense, but 34 (out of 37) is a ready made community (or two).

    It would mean the sisters would have to have the 1962 mass exclusively, but from the sound of it they were headed in this direction already.

    Maybe some on the SSPX side would be concerned that – after several generous acts from Francis, relating to the Society – taking the sisters might seem provocative. But, given a choice between taking some petty Bishops’ side against some nuns, or having to publicly reverse course on one of the very few positive trajectories of his pontificate, I think Francis would just let it go.

  6. Semper Gumby says:

    “Once upon a time we took care of our own and didn’t rely on the nanny state to do everything.”

    Amen. The control or destruction of the family and religious charities, and the juvenilization of society, are goals of the Left today. The bloody lessons of Communist ideology and rule are still unlearned by many to this day. Utopia and Power are powerful narcotics. But Jesus Christ has already triumphed over paganism.

    “The mother superior and the novice mistress where exiled to distant monasteries and replaced with three modernist commissioners.”


  7. andromedaregina says:

    No problem with forceful, swift, hardliner judgements and actions by this Pontificate…unless of course we’re dealing with sodomitical rapist. Then it’s all “silence”, “mercy” and “who am I to judge.”

  8. JEF5570 says:

    At what point is it ok to stop, look around, assess the situation and come to the conclusion that there are (at least) two different religions both calling themselves Catholic?

  9. The Egyptian says:

    Fr Z help me, we are to love our pope, HOW can we love a man who is willfully destroying things. Despise the sin love the sinner, so Despise the actions love the pope??
    How can a man feel any loyalty with all that is going on. I feel I cannot in good faith pray for his intentions, seems many of his intentions are not good, I am in a quandary, never seemed to have these problems with Benedict
    someone more skilled than me needs to make a meme of Benedict with the caption “miss me yet” in the vein of the G W Bush ones I have seen

  10. WmHesch says:

    In the present climate, what’s the advantage for women religious to be canonically erected at all? Besides reservation of the Sanctissimum.

    Couldn’t they just exist as de facto private associations of the faithful with private vows, and the bishop wouldn’t have any more authority over their community than he would over a private home?

  11. abdiesus says:

    What I wonder is what God expects us to think about this. Obviously He is pleased to allow it to happen, and I think we all know that we can all expect to see much, much worse in the near future. How does he expect or desire us to respond?

    Realize that whatever you might say in response, that is the opposite of what those He allowed to be in charge desire, and they are the ones who have the power to crush you out of existence, because they are the only ones who can define what “being catholic” means. The alternative is a sort of schismatic protestant existence where we all define for ourselves, based upon our own individual reading of “tradition”, what “being catholic” means.

    I suppose one could say that as long as one doesn’t try very hard to do something good, or at least if one does try to do something good, one makes sure one is ultimately enough of a failure at it so as not to arouse any notice, one might be safe from being crushed out of existence – at least for a while.

    And in the meantime, pray that the Muslim hordes take over fast so we can all be martyred quickly before the Vatican gets around to excommunicating us.

    Honestly that’s the best outcome I can see.

  12. Kathleen10 says:

    All according to plan, and going swimmingly. JEF, that’s it exactly, we have two Catholic faiths going on, one true, one false.
    The false ones have all the power and all the money and all the buildings and all the titles. They persecute the faithful, both laity and religious. It’s likely to get far worse before it ever gets better, but I’m a pessimist of sorts. I could be wrong. Personally I would far prefer the true church with Mass held in someone’s living room or in the woods to this false, effeminate harlot of a church in the grandest cathedral. I keep reminding myself God can be worshipped anywhere, for the days when we may not have our lovely churches and cathedrals.
    We are at an impasse. We just wait on God and Our Lady to break it.

  13. Benedict Joseph says:

    I am not looking forward to what is ahead for contemplative communities of sisters and nuns when “Cor Orans” hits their lives. More of what is reported here is to come, and rest assured there are other disasters which have gone unreported.
    Our Church suffers a horrifying case of malignant atheism.

  14. Rob83 says:

    At this point, our best option might be to organize a team to constantly pray the rosary outside the curial offices and papal residence, or as close as can be gotten to them.

  15. Prayerful says:

    I worry about an Irish traditional monastery which was canonically erected through Ecclesia Dei. We should pray Psalm 108 in the hope this evil time passes.

  16. FrAnt says:

    If only the good nuns had a bus.

  17. Amerikaner says:

    Dear Lord, when will you help us?!?!

  18. LatinMan says:

    You know, when we hear about a cardinal sodomitically preying on seminarians, priests who used to abuse children, nuns and other religious who are faithful to the Church and who do works of mercy and charity punished, does it really shock the bishops or anyone else why there’s a crisis of vocations, ALL vocations? Who wants to enter seminary when they could be preyed on by bishops or cardinals? Who wants to marry and have and raise children (particularly, boys) in the Church, when they hear about sex abuse? Who wants to enter into religion, when those who live this vocation most faithfully are persecuted by the highest dignitaries in the Church? I’m sorry we don’t need a 20,000 word document and four week long synod to diagnose what the problem is.

  19. CharlesG says:

    Such merciful treatment of Catholic tradition-valuing peripheries in the Francis era. No nonjudgmental accompaniment for them…

  20. Dismas says:

    @Egyptian – To love is to will the good for somebody. It is easy to love someone you like, but it doesn’t merit you much to do so. Loving someone that you loathe is far more impressive. Of course, tough love in prison with bread and water can still be love.

    @abdiesis – God knows His own plans. Our task is to perform our vocations as best we can. Should radioactive fire consume us tomorrow or a plague of rats devour the Lavender Mafia alive at the next Synod, we don’t know.

  21. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    Lord have mercy.

    Father this post saddened me. :(

    I need a Fr’s Kitchen to bounce back, it better be good.

    [LOL. I only have one more day where I am, but maybe the evening I return to Chicago we can put something together along these lines. Meanwhile, to distract you from your woes, the first pic is of a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle I found in the local, humble, liquor store. Cost prohibitive. But still…]

    [Next, simply to amuse by way of shifting gears a ghillie suit and a really nice bike at the not too distant National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum.]

    [Then there’s this. I bought some Mahi Mahi and decided to do it in clarified butter and lemon, with braised Gala apple. I gave the sauce a dash of flaming bourbon and then reduced it and put it over the fish with capers and fresh parsley. No photos of the final plates.]

  22. The Egyptian says:

    a plague of rats devour the Lavender Mafia alive at the next Synod,
    Dismas, you have way with words,

  23. abdiesus says:

    @Egyptian I agree – @Dismas you definitely do have a way with words! ;D

  24. jazzclass says:

    These are the same bishops whose dioceses are cry and bicker about how few visions they have. But their bloodlust for the abolition for tradition overtakes their willingness to fix the problems at hand. It is like using a flamethrower to put out a fire that is burning down your house while a fireman argues that water is evil and outdated.

  25. Elizabeth D says:

    Maybe they are going to be like the contemplative sisters of St John who weren’t really destroyed, they left their vows from that institute and then put on traditional habits and started a new public association of the faithful called the Sisters of Mary Morningstar under a bishop who was happy to support them. I would think it is not impossible to find a bishop who would like some sisters of that sort to run elder care homes. Who knows what was the issue the bishop had that rejected them. Maybe it was hard to continue to have a priest available to them who would say Latin Novus Ordo Mass, and they were insisting.

    To WmHesch, celibate women in private vows are often treated as nothing in the church–how they are regarded depends on the priest and situation but often even good priests will relentlessly treat their espousal to Christ and consecration as null, as no vocation at all, as something to try to break the woman of, their self-giving to Christ regarded as meaningless and unwanted by the Church, it can be a VERY different experience than the honor and reverence as for persons sacred to and loved by Jesus that public consecrated women are afforded. Some women, including those who have some type of impediment to becoming a sister, have no choice but to respond to Christ the Bridegroom faithfully and lovingly while being rejected, but if these women, who apparently are the kind of people considered to be of value for religious life, can find an approved way it would be so much better. Setting themselves up as “sisters” in some kind of very visible way is inconsistent with a “private” vocation anyway. It would not be welcomed or healthy.

  26. Dismas says:

    @jazzclass – I have a similar analogy for Socialism:
    Fighting greed with envy is like trying to put out a fire with plutonium; not only is the fire still burning, but it’s radioactive too.

  27. JesusFreak84 says:

    This is making me glad I never tried to join a religious order… Any I would’ve considered even in my younger days would be under threat now =-\

  28. Malta says:

    They should form a monastery of their own like these thriving monks:

    The Church in France is already dead, so why not?

    If Francis is not careful the Church will experience another schism.

    On a brighter note, even though Malibu is burning, if you are ever in Laguna Beach try this place: Best sushi in the world!

  29. arcillajohn says:

    This makes my heart break, God bless these sisters.

  30. JustaSinner says:

    This is horrible, and indeed what is happening to Christ’s is devasting. But in times like these, I take strength knowing that the early Church, with all if its Martyrs and Saints had it MUCH WORSE, yet persevered. How many Christians were slaughtered DAILY in the Circuses throughout the Empire? Ask yourself, if you and your family were in mortal danger due to your faith in Christ, how would you react?

  31. Marion Ancilla Mariae II says:

    Elizabeth D. wrote, ” if these women can find an approved way it would be so much better, . . . it would be so much better . . .

    “Setting themselves up as ‘sisters’ in some kind of very visible way is inconsistent with a ‘private’ vocation anyway. It would not be welcomed or healthy.”

    A “way approved” by whom?

    I wonder how communities of faithful Catholic monks and nuns managed when the storm of Arianism swept over the Church. Many formerly Catholic princes and bishops became Arians, and considered Roman Catholics to be enemies. A similar thing seems to have been underway in our own time, in the form of the heresy of Modernism.

    The time may have arrived when we as faithful Catholics need to bring out the “Creative Minority” in ourselves, and “hagan lío”! . . . by reviving old traditions like the way of life of the medieval Third Orders. In those day, these sisters wore the habit, and sometimes lived at home with their parents, and sometimes lived in communities. Unlike the cloistered nuns who almost never set foot outside their monastery, the Third Order sisters performed active works of mercy. And they usually had to continue to support themselves with paid work. (And it’s not true that medieval women didn’t do paid work! Many earned their keep, especially by weaving, sewing, lace-making, embroidering, growing, processing, and selling fruits, vegetables and herbs, etc., working as domestic servants, etc.)

    In spite of the heresy of Modernism, which has infected the Church even to its highest echelons, there will always be people who are called to serve God by taking that extra step of pursuing a life of utter self-renunciation in favor of the Kingdom. In today’s Modernist climate, in order to protect that very vocation, it seems it has become necessary to find ways to avail themselves of the structure and mutual support of some form of community life, but without much official oversight by organs of the present Church . . . at least, for now.

    Mary Queen of Virgins, may be depended upon to find a way!

  32. LarryW2LJ says:

    “Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me, “Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”

    I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.” He said to me, “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;* they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

    Certainly, we are in the time of great distress. May we all have our robes washed to brilliant white in the Blood of the Lamb.

  33. Athelstan says:

    The good bishop in question, by the way, only has 31 parishes left (N.B.: in 1965 there were almost 300), and hardly enough priests under retirement age to serve them, from what I can make out in Kenedy.

    I suppose he had a great deal of time on his hands to go smudge them out like a penciled mistake.

    It is said that Louis Bouyer once looked over a list of the French bishops appointed by Paul VI, and quipped that it was a list of the “gravediggers” of the Church in France. It looks like their successors have just about completed the cemetery.

  34. APX says:

    In the present climate, what’s the advantage for women religious to be canonically erected at all? Besides reservation of the Sanctissimum.

    Couldn’t they just exist as de facto private associations of the faithful with private vows, and the bishop wouldn’t have any more authority over their community than he would over a private home?

    Private vows are not the same as public vows. If you’re called to religious life, then you’re better off professing public vows and working with the graces that come with it. This isn’t anything new. Look up St. Mary MacKillop from Australia and what happened to her and her order of Josephites when she reported sexual abuse of minors. The sisters were even denied Requiem Masses when they died.

  35. Elizabeth D says:

    Marion Ancilla Mariae, we do have third order regular sisters, both CMSWR type and LCWR type. That is today’s form of that. They are public forms of consecrated life not a do-it-yourself matter. Being in a third order was never a do it yourself matter it was associated with a mendicant religious order. They also aren’t based on women being virgins–the medieval origins of “third orders” are as brothers and sisters of penance. Historically, a third order regular teaching/nursing sisters congregation might be called the “Sisters of Penance of the third order of St Dominic/Francis of…” whatever place or patronage.

  36. chantgirl says:

    Hilary White has recently been writing about beguines as a possible short term solution to the crisis.

    Religious orders should start looking at the fine print of Cor Orans, and realizing that their valuable property may be quite alluring to the Vatican, take steps to place ownership in the hands of those who are not directly answerable to Rome. For all of their attempts, Rome has still not gotten its’ hands on the property of the FFI, from what I understand.

  37. iamlucky13 says:

    What did the Congregation claim as the reason for removing their mother superior and novice mistress? Where did the quoted words “sectarian excesses” come from?

    Is any information from the Congregation published on this matter, or is it all confidential?

  38. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    Father: that made my day, thank you!

  39. RAve says:

    It seems you can take the Argentinian out of the dictatorship, but you can’t take the dictatorship out of the Argentinian.

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