Following up on earlier posts here and here about the canonical penalties against Sister of Charity Louis Lears, formerly of St. Cronan’s parish in St. Louis:
National Catholic Reporter just broke a story that the archdiocese authorized someone to videotape a Catholic women’s ordination ceremony that took place in a synagogue last November that Lears attended. The videotape was then used as evidence by then-Archbishop Raymond Burke to remove Lears from ministry and deny her sacraments in the archdiocese. That move came on June 26, and the next day Burke was named to head the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura, or Supreme Court, in Rome.
From the NCR story:
The file also contains close-up photographs of a name tag Lears was wearing during the ceremony. Her attendance at the November 2007 ordination held at the Central Reform Congregation, the only Jewish congregation in St. Louis and headed by Rabbi Susan Talve, was never a secret, according to Lears’ associates.
The ceremony drew some 600 people, among them several dozen women religious, according to people who attended the liturgy. Only Lears, however, was singled out by Burke.
“It was a surveillance video. That’s exactly what it was,” said Sean Collins, a co-pastoral associate of Lears at St. Cronan Parish until he resigned July 2nd, in part, he said, to speak about what he says has been a grave injustice taken against Lears.
“What disturbs me even more is that the video taping was premeditated,” he said, referring to the affidavit authorizing it by the archdiocese. Collins did not see the document firsthand, but referred to others who had seen it.
“They clearly selected Louise from a congregation of some 600 people and of those 40 or 50 of them offered blessings,” he said. “Of all of those who offered blessings only Louise has been singled out.”