The earthly power of canon law “corners” the schismatic convent

The serial started by the Poor Clares of Belorado After announcing his break with the Catholic Church to shelter under the umbrella of the false bishop Pablo de Rojas and his Pious Union San Pablo Apóstol, things get complicated. Especially after this week the Holy See appointed the archbishop of Burgos, Mario Iceta, as pontifical commissioner. Rome's decision to give the prelate full power over the activities of the monastic community and its property resulted in the archbishop's first decision: to expel from the convent both the nuns' schismatic mentor and his spokesperson, José Ceacero. .

This episcopal movement caused the former abbess, Sister Isabel de la Trinidad, accompanied by two nuns and Ceacero, to appear at four in the morning from Wednesday to Thursday at a police station in Logroño to file a complaint against Iceta for violation of the right of association and free voluntary separation, abuse of power and usurpation of legal representation. And all, under the premise that on May 14 The nuns informed Iceta by burofax that they are outside their jurisdiction after leaving the Catholic Church. The advisors of the wayward Poor Clares maintain that the monastery would be one hundred percent their property, from which they deduce that any order from the archbishop has no value. “What Mr. Iceta intends to do is simply illegal based on civil law,” Ceacero explained to the media, under his conviction that “no confession can be above the civil code and the Spanish Constitution.” From this premise, they consider that “canon law cannot be imposed, it is illegal.”

However, this thesis could be shattered, precisely due to Magna Carta. As LA RAZÓN has been able to confirm through several lawyers specialized in civil and canon law, the nuns and their advisors have come up against a wall: the Church-State Agreements of 1979, that establish a regime of cooperation with the Catholic Church. They include not only freedom of religion, but also its jurisdictional activities. Or put in colloquial terms, the norms of the Church are not a separate nebula with no earthly validity, but rather they are recognized law in Spain. Therefore, what is bound in the ecclesial norm would also be bound in the civil law.

And article 4 of this international treaty signed by the Government of Adolfo Suárez and the Holy See explicitly states that “the State recognizes the civil legal personality and the full capacity to act” of religious congregations. In this casethe corporate name of this monastic community would appear registered as “Monasterio Santa Clara de Derio” and “Monasterio de Santa Clara de Belorado”, two legal personalities with their corresponding legal representative.

For Ceacero, it would be Sister Isabel de la Trinidad, arguing that she is “legitimately elected by the conventual chapter.” However, on May 29 he not only ended his mandate extended by the Vatican, but by appointing the archbishop as pontifical commissioner, he immediately made him the legal representative in the civil sphere. Or in Christian terms, Iceta would be the “abbess” today, that is, the only person capable of deciding the future of the community and its properties.

The lawyers consulted by this newspaper insist that “if a commissionership is inferred from canon law, that same canon law has its legal effectiveness in Spanish law.” In this way, and always according to these experts, it would be practically impossible for the dismissed prioress to complete any purchase and sale operation of the monasteries of Derio and Orduña linked to the unknown benefactor of the community. You could not carry out a change of ownership to a third party.

Who would stop him in his tracks? Any notary they went to to sign it.

«No one in their right mind would accept entering into something like that, because a disqualification is at stake. “Everyone knows that canon law is the statutory right to apply,” explains a notary to LA RAZÓN, while they are aware of the official documentation that is required to execute any sale of ecclesiastical property. Thus, the schismatic nun would have to prove that she is the legal representative today, something that she could not prove. The Poor Clares who inhabit it are not the owners, but the institution. Furthermore, the Supreme Court has already determined that the sale of an ecclesiastical asset that exceeds one and a half million euros and that does not have the permission of the Holy See is null and void in the Spanish legal system.

Regarding the triple complaint filed with the archbishop of Burgos, another specialist in criminal law points out that it has “practically zero progress.” «From what has been publicly exposed, You could say it's fireworks», he assesses, delving into inaccuracies that are incurred: «They comment that they have denounced the archbishop for abuse of authority before the National Police, when that is an ecclesiastical expression that does not correspond to any civil crime. In that case they would be coercion.

In the same way, the accusation of violating the right of free association and voluntary separation is questioned: “These are very serious things to launch lightly against someone, because this crime involves the use of force or intimidation to prevent someone from getting together.” , something that has not happened so far. For all these reasons, both civil and canon law specialists practically take it for granted that the case was archived. “At most, an abbreviated procedure could be decreed in which the archbishop would be called to testify,” they point out.