A judge in Tarrant County has ruled that the civil court lacks jurisdiction to hear the claims of an Arlington nun who sued a Fort Worth bishop.
Following a “crucial” evidentiary issue, Judge Don Cosby postponed the initial court session for a week before making his ruling. Last Friday, he apologised to the almost full courtroom and said that he needed assistance to decide if the case could go forward.
Statement Issued By Bishop Olson
Bishop Michael Olson’s attorney, Michael Anderson, claimed that the proof his team planned to provide would show that Olson acted properly when he started looking into Reverend Mother Teresa Agnes Gerlach for breaking her vow of chastity in late April. Cosby was not anticipated to decide on the issue until the following week, and it is still unclear what factors influenced his choice.
Since then, Bishop Olson has issued the following statement:
“We appreciate Judge Cosby’s decision today to throw out the nuns’ complaint. Our persistent conviction that this is a private Church matter that doesn’t belong in court was vindicated by the ruling. The existing canonical process will continue to be followed in this situation. Bishop Olson requests once more for the faithful to keep the Diocese, Mother Teresa Agnes, and all of the sisters at the monastery in their prayers.
Attorney Matthew Bobo, who is representing Gerlach, expressed amazement and profound disappointment and said he intends to appeal.
To Handover Mobile Phones
“This decision indicates that anyone who enters a Catholic church in Texas can be asked to hand over his mobile device, the Church can copy all of its contents and retain them for an indefinite amount of time, trouncing private citizens’ constitutionally protected civil liberties, and that the Catholic Church may do all of this without any real justification whatsoever,” Bobo wrote in a statement.
And not only that, but Catholic priests are free to freely expose Catholics’ alleged misdeeds to the entire world without facing any consequences from the Vatican or the legal system, the speaker said.
Images of what appears to be drug paraphernalia at the Monastery of the Most Holy Trinity were circulated by the diocese earlier this month. Arlington police said they have concluded their investigation and found there was insufficient evidence to proceed with any criminal charges.