Thursday, 14 October 2021

More (Bad) News About the Philadelphia Carmel

Most of the nuns have returned to the Carmel of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph here in the Diocese of Lincoln. I wonder how long it has before the hammer falls there, too?

From Fr Z's Blog

Some months ago we read about the travails of the grand Carmel in Philadelphia, established shortly after the dies natalis of St. Therese di Lisieux.

At LifeSite we now read what we suspected:

Vatican on the verge of closing down traditional Carmelite monastery in Philadelphia

Be careful with that headline, but the subheaders says: “all indications point to Rome uprooting traditional orders”.

Indications aren’t necessarily proofs. However, there is an Italian proverb, “Non c’è fumo senza arrosto.”


According to several sources, the Vatican is attempting to shut down the Carmelite monastery in Philadelphia that had been the cradle of devotion to St. Therese of Lisieux in the early 20th century.

The Carmel had been languishing from the fact of an aging communinity and lack of younger blood. Other Carmels sent nuns to the rescue and brought a great sense of Tradtion and the TTLM. The Carmel began to recover.

The there was a document from the Holy See’s Congregation for Religious, Cor orans, that required various houses to be associated in larger associations. At the time, many of us knew that this would be used to crush the houses that were flourishing because of Traditional spirituality.


Father Maximilian Dean recounted in the recent LifeSite interview that the younger nuns made sacrifices to move to urban Philadelphia after having lived in calm and rural surroundings. But then they faced several obstacles from incoming Archbishop Nelson J. Perez (but most probably not upon his own initiative).

The younger nuns were told that they could not live according to their own traditions and rites – as it had been previously promised to them under Chaput – but that they had to adapt to new styles as prescribed by an association of Carmelite orders, the St. Joseph Association, that the Philadelphia Carmel had entered after the publication of Pope Francis’ new document Cor Orans, which called upon contemplative monasteries to join larger associations.

Father Maximilian explained that these circumstances made it clear the young nuns could not stay and so they left on April 9 with tears and also with some joy.

The Mother Superior, who is now alone in the Philadelphia monastery, still receives kind and generous assistance from lay people.

The Carmelite nuns described the events in a June 19 letter to their friends as follows:

For many years, the Philadelphia Carmel had been part of an association. When our Nuns arrived, it was assumed that withdrawing from this association would be a small matter. After all, the Nuns had been invited by the community and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia with the clear understanding that they were part of a young, thriving, dedicated Order who loved the Extraordinary Form of the Holy Mass and the time-honored traditions of the Discalced Carmelites. As attempts were being made to not only interfere with but to obstruct their way of life, the Nuns tried one way after another to gracefully bow out of this pre-existing commitment. When it became painfully clear that the freedom to maintain their identity as originally promised by the Archdiocese was not being honored, the only option left to the Nuns was to return to the monastery in Valparaiso, Nebraska. They did this in the most correct way possible, fulfilling all canonical requirements.

As it becomes clear, the Archdiocese would rather allow the Carmel of Philadelphia to be shut down than to encourage the development of a traditional community of Carmelite nuns.


There’s the paradigm of this regime’s Great Leap Forward… into nothingness.

They would rather see the Carmel die out and that there should be nothing rather than allow them simply to live the way they want.  Since that way includes Tradition, they have to die.

It would probably be convenient for the powers that be to shut the whole thing down, strip all the architectural elements and stone out of the chapel, sell them off at an enormous profit and then liquidate the hulk.

Like Planned Parenthood does with baby parts.

1 comment:

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