Editor’s Note: The Pillar, an ostensible Catholic electronic journal, has published a piece accepting as valid the letter presented by Bishop Olson of Texas, in the dispute he has with the Carmelite Monastery in his Diocese.
The letter is signed by the wrong person (Secretary of the Congregation for Religious, not the Prefect, who along can delegate authority), bears an incorrect protocol number (for the year 2020, not 2023, though signed days ago), and names the wrong monastery.
You would have to be a jerk to think this letter has any canonical force. It is an obvious fake/forgery/farce.
The protocol number discrepancy should alone cancel this letter out of all serious consideration, since the Protocol number identifies the document in the official Registry of the Congregation, to which no document can be entered without the express consent of the Prefect. The fact that an old protocol number was used, means that the forger or faker, took a number from a letter, and has no access to the Registry. A thing which puts in grave doubt that the letter has any approval.
In addition, to confer on the Bishop the legal authority of the Apostolic See to act in this case, is a matter which no Secretary of the Congregation could confer, as delegated authority is strictly interpreted as to the agents capable of acting it. Even if the Prefect had signed a letter with the correct protocol number, the recipients (Nuns of said Monastery) could rightfully request authentication of the authority to delegate such representation.
Yet, The Pillar holds it as valid. One can only shake one’s head and laugh or weep at the profundity of boot-liking to which some “Catholic” journals are willing to stoop.
This is journalism of the kind FromRome.Info will never stoop down to, by the grace of God.
I do not live far from the Congregation for Religious, and if any Benefactor of the Monastery would want, I can easily authenticate the letter or demonstrate it is a forgery by visiting the offices of the Congregation on Monday. This dispute is not my affair, however, so I will not presume to do so, without a specific request.
The Pillar was founded in 2021 by two Canonists. (Gulp!)