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Burgo Archbishop Mario Iceta (CNA/Burgo Archdiocese)

The Church in Spain has decreed the excommunication and expulsion from the consecrated life of the Poor Clare nuns of Belorado for committing the crime of schism. Source: CNA.

Canon 751 of the Code of Canon Law states that schism is “the refusal of submission to the supreme pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.” The penalty for this crime is excommunication.

The Archdiocese of Burgos announced on June 22 it “has communicated the decree of declaration of excommunication and declaration of “ipso facto” [immediate] expulsion from consecrated life of each and every one of the 10 sisters who have incurred schism.”

The statement also points out that these “are the same sisters who have presented their free and personal decision to leave the Catholic Church. Given this decision, it is necessary to remember that the declaration of excommunication is a legal action considered by the Church as a medicinal measure, which prompts reflection and personal conversion.”

“The Church always shows her profound compassion and, as a mother, is ready to welcome her children who, like the prodigal son, trust in God’s mercy and begin the journey back to the Father’s house,” the statement said. 

In addition, the Archdiocese of Burgos indicated that there were eight sisters who “have not incurred excommunication, as they have not supported the schism”.

On May 13, the community of Poor Clare sisters of the monasteries of Belorado and Orduña made public a manifesto and a letter in which they announced that they were leaving the Catholic Church and placed themselves under the tutelage of the excommunicated false bishop Pablo de Rojas.

At the beginning of June, the nuns were formally informed that they had to appear before the ecclesiastical court of Burgos to answer for the crime of schism, punishable by the penalty of excommunication.

The deadline expired on Friday, June 21, with the nuns failing to appear.


Catholic authorities in Spain excommunicate, expel renegade nuns (By Walter Sánchez Silva, CNA)


Poor Clares excommunicated after rejecting Church tribunal (The Tablet)