Police evict rebel ex-nuns

Polish Police have evicted 65 rebellious ex-nuns and arrested the mother superior and a monk who had been illegally living in a convent for two years.

The women had taken over the building in a rebellion against the Vatican, which had ordered the replacement of their mother superior, Jadwiga Ligocka.

"They were disobedient," said Mieczyslaw Puzewicz, a spokesman for the Lublin diocese of the Roman Catholic Church. The Vatican formally expelled the women from their Sisters of Bethany order last year.

Associated Press reported that police arrested Mother Jadwiga and a former Franciscan friar, Roman Komaryczko, who had been living with the nuns.

A locksmith had opened the gate to the walled convent in the eastern Polish town of Kazimierz Dolny and police in riot gear pushed forward, encountering an onslaught of verbal aggression from some of the former nuns.

Several hours later the women, in black habits and each escorted by two policewomen, began filing out of the building. Some carried musical instruments, while others bore simple backpacks or carried large blue garbage bags.

The women walked calmly out of the convent and onto a bus five and a half hours after the police operation began.

Polish news media have reported that Mother Jadwiga was a charismatic figure who had had religious visions, and was attempting to transform the convent into a contemplative order.

The Vatican formally expelled the nuns in 2006, but they refused to leave the building, cutting themselves off from the outside world.

The church eventually sought legal action to remove them, and a court ordered the eviction a step they had previously resisted. The convent's electricity was cut off earlier this year, but local residents sympathized with the ex-nuns' plight and secretly funneled them food in the night.

Police Evict Ex-Nuns From Polish Convent (AP, 10/10/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Lublin Archdiocese
The Vatican

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12 Oct 2007