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Mother Angelica

FAIRFIELD, Pennsylvania (LifeSiteNews) — Even nuns in a monastery founded by EWTN’s Mother Angelica have suffered from an insensitive “Apostolic Visitation,” a Vatican-approved investigation.

In a newly published interview conducted by LifeSite’s Jim Hale, hermit Father Maximilian Mary Dean retells the history of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration in Hanceville, Alabama. Their monastery, founded by Mother Angelica, who also began Catholic TV channel EWTN,  received an Apostolic Visitation in 2010. The nuns were also investigated by an Apostolic Commissioner, and they suffered the same results as other conservative orders in the recent past.

The Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration are a contemplative community. The life of the cloistered nuns is centered on the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. They were first established in France in 1854, and their monasteries act autonomously. What happened to the Poor Clares in Alabama can be seen in light of the general reform and undermining of the contemplative orders that has followed the promulgation of Pope Francis’ instruction Cor Orans.

As LifeSiteNews was able to confirm, Mother Angelica’s Our Lady of the Angels Monastery is now quoting on its own website the radical progressivist Dominican priest, Father Timothy Radcliffe. In 2014, Radcliffe’s very presence was enough cause for EWTN to withdraw its presence at a conference. As the National Catholic Register’s Edward Pentin subsequently wrote: “Last year [2014], EWTN chose not to televise Ireland’s Divine Mercy Conference, as it customarily does, because Father Radcliffe had been chosen as a keynote speaker at the event.”

At a talk in Los Angeles in 2006, as Pentin tells us, Father Radcliffe called upon the Church to “accompany [homosexuals] as they discern what this means, letting our images be stretched open. This means watching Brokeback Mountain [a movie about a homosexual relationship], reading gay novels, living with our gay friends and listening with them as they listen to the Lord.”

Edward Pentin also recalled that Radcliffe supported same-sex civil unions, stating in The Tablet in 2012 that homosexual relationships should be “cherished and supported” and that the “God of love can be present in every true love.” The British journalist further informs us that “Father Radcliffe has often celebrated Masses for homosexual Catholics — the so-called ‘Soho Masses’ – in London.”

Quoting this same priest with approval, the website of the new Poor Clares now states: “Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, O.P., also expounds on the reason for a formation fortified by study: ‘Our study has this ultimate purpose, to bring us to this moment of conversion when our false images of God are destroyed so that we may draw near to the mystery.’” And while this quote in itself might not carry a controversial message, the fact that he is quoted on their website speaks volumes.

Father Maximilian, a former Franciscan Friar of the Immaculate and now a chaplain to the traditional Carmelite nuns of Fairfield, Pennsylvania, described in his recent interview with Jim Hale what he witnessed of the Apostolic Commission to the Poor Clares.

After some internal conflicts, the Poor Clares welcomed a commissioner. Father Maximilian accidentally met her when visiting Mother Angelica’s monastery, and the woman re revealed to him that she made sure that all nuns with inclinations toward the traditional Latin Mass were “sent home.”

“We sent all those women home,” she told the priest. “They were fine women, but none of them had a vocation.”

“It sound[ed] like a hiss from hell,” Father Maximilian says to his interviewer.

Before the visitation and arrival of the commissioner,  the Alabama monastery of the Poor Clares was home to about 45 nuns. They were only 13 when Father visited them in 2014. (Today they seem to have 14 members.) Subsequently, they had to shut down one of their foundations in 2018, upon order of the Holy See.

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LifeSiteNews will hand-deliver this petition to the Holy See, recording the moment traditional Catholics from around the world stood up for the Traditional Latin Mass.

Pope Francis has issued a new decree, "Traditiones Custodes," severely restricting the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM).

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition with other Catholics, and ask the Pope to reconsider this new and divisive Motu Proprio.

Pope Francis' decree clamps down hard on the TLM. In it, he effectively does away with Pope Benedict's protection of it, handing bishops in every diocese the right to suppress it, while demanding new priests get permission from their bishop and the Vatican to offer the Mass of the Ages. 

As Catholics who value Tradition and know the place of the Magisterium in safeguarding the Deposit of Faith, it is time to speak up and have our voices heard

Francis has decried rigidity and intolerance for years, but now is showing intolerance and rigidity himself by forcing his very narrow understanding of liturgy on one of the true sources of good fruit in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church.

Our Lord said that "a bad tree cannot bear good fruit", and yet we see more and more souls drawn to Christ through the TLM, with marriages dedicated to God and open to many children, and vocations also abounding in traditional seminaries, orders and priestly societies.

Indeed, the Traditional Latin Mass has been a source of unity for the Catholic Church for more than 1500 years, producing great saints, repentant sinners, and souls won for Christ across the world. *Read below how Benedict XVI decried attacks against the TLM and its adherents.

To attempt to restrict the Traditional Latin Mass, as a new generation are rediscovering the treasures of God's Church, will inevitably cause further division and hurt among the faithful, risking the loss of some souls who will regretfully turn away

Souls are now at stake with this Motu Proprio, as some will drift away from the Deposit of Faith in disillusionment, while others that are far from God will never be touched by the profound beauty and reverence found in the Traditional Latin Mass. 

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition to Pope Francis, urging him to reconsider his decision, not least for the good of souls and the glory of God, and making sure as many cardinals support the TLM as possible. 

Click "Show Petition Text" on the right to read the letter to Pope Francis.

Finally, please pray, fast and do penance for the salvation of souls, including that of our shepherds, during this turbulent time in Church history.


'BREAKING: Pope Francis abrogates Pope Benedict’s universal permission for Old Mass' -

'ANALYSIS: Pope restricts ‘divisive’ Traditional Latin Mass, says 52-yr-old Novus Ordo is ‘unique expression’ of Church’s liturgy' -

* Pope Benedict XVI (Spirit of the Liturgy, 2000):

"For fostering a true consciousness in liturgical matters, it is also important that the proscription against the form of liturgy in valid use up to 1970 [the older Latin Mass] should be lifted. Anyone who nowadays advocates the continuing existence of this liturgy or takes part in it is treated like a leper; all tolerance ends here. There has never been anything like this in history; in doing this we are despising and proscribing the Church’s whole past. How can one trust her at present if things are that way?"

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As one source close to the situation told LifeSite, the community was reduced to 8 nuns at one point after the authorities imposed another Mother Superior upon the monastery. That Mother Superior – whom Father Maximilian met in 2014 – was not a Poor Clare but a Benedictine nun. This source confirmed the story described by Father Maximilian. This source was not sure about the exact title of the new Mother Superior, but the source confirmed that the woman removed many of the more tradition-minded nuns from the monastery.

All this is to say that an Apostolic Visitation and Commission even affected the monastery founded by EWTN’s Mother Angelica, leading to dwindling vocations and the suppression of any inclination toward Tradition.

Now Mother Angelica’s own monastery quotes Fr. Radcliffe on their website. The foundress, who died in 2016, would most probably turn in her grave, were she to know of it.

UPDATE, Oct. 6, 2021:  The Poor Clares’ website has removed the quote from Fr. Radcliffe! Here’s a screenshot of the previous website: