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PERUGIA, Italy (ChurchMilitant.com) - Nuns at an ancient monastery are facing deportation after Italy's top cardinal is ordering the closure of the convent for noncompliance with the country's draconian COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
The five nuns are being punished for refusing to get jabbed, revealed Mother Catherine of the convent of Santa Caterina d'Alessandria in Perugia after meeting with Cdl. Gualtiero Bassetti, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference.
"It is true. I can confirm that this is the only explanation they gave me at the end of the apostolic visit," Mother Catherine told Italian media La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana.
The abbess of the monastery, which was built in 1500 and has been occupied by the Benedictine nuns since 1649, said the persecution against her sisters began after an unexpected apostolic visitation targeted the convent in mid-February.
The mother superior was alerted to the threat after she visited Cdl. Bassetti, archbishop of Perugia-Città della Pieve, to ask him for a signature on a document. Bassetti told her he could not sign because a review of her convent was in progress.
The prelate, a close ally of Pope Francis and a fanatical promoter of the experimental injection, also denied knowing why the nuns were the object of an impromptu visit.
Mother Catherine revealed the visitor, Mother Chiara Cristiana Ianni, a nun from the order of the Poor Clares of Jerusalem, "found all aspects of our monastery in order, with the exception of the fact that we have not been vaccinated."
"The decree states that my comportment was inadequate," the shocked abbess said. "I did some soul-searching but sincerely could not find a justification."
"Even the visitor said that she found nothing wrong, either with the liturgy or with our spiritual formation, and acknowledged that we are economically self-sufficient. Absolutely nothing, not even regarding the maintenance of the convent," Mother Catherine stressed.
"The only explanation that was given to me was the fact that the nuns had not been vaccinated," the abbess reported, noting that the visitor, Mother Ianni, had specifically reported this to her.
However, local media is speculating the diocese may be looking to profit from the sale of the prestigious property, which is in the historic center of the town.
"Here, then, is the drama that is about to explode in that of Perugia, the Umbrian capital with an ancient red, communist and atheist tradition, where the ancient monastery has been tempting the university and other secular institutions for years," writes journalist Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio.
Mother Catherine insisted she was not "vaccine hesitant" but rather "a woman of science" who worked in the field of scientific research before taking her vows.
"I could never oblige anyone to do something they do not desire to do. I would risk criminal investigation," she maintained, explaining why she had not compelled her nuns to take the abortion-tainted shot.
"In May, when the question of the vaccine arose, they all immediately stated that they did not wish to be vaccinated," the abbess noted. "We decided to bide our time, and in October the problematic question presented itself once again. The convent's doctor contacted me, and again we refused."
Ironically, while none of the unjabbed nuns suffered from COVID-19 over the last two years, Cdl. Bassetti was forced to isolate himself after he contracted the coronavirus twice despite being double jabbed.
The threat of the convent's closure comes as Italy is ending its vaccine mandates. From April 1, unvaccinated workers will be allowed to return to their workplace with only a COVID test and from May 1 all vaccine requirements and restrictions will be lifted.
Mother Catherine explained the sisters were already living in isolation since they are cloistered and have no contact with the public.
Meanwhile, some of the nuns face deportation if the monastery is shut down and two of the sisters will join the Little Sisters of Divine Providence in Alexandria, Italy. Two sisters are in their 60s and three are in their 80s.
A sister is hospitalized in Alexandria for postoperative care, and another member of the order is recovering from an eye problem at a retreat center in Rome. A Brazilian nun has been blocked from entering Italy because of visa problems.
On Tuesday, Church Militant reported how Bp. John Sherrington of Westminster had snitched on Mother General of Tyburn Convent, London, to the Vatican after she refused to capitulate to his letters pressuring her to change her views on the vaccine.
"I have been threatened on numerous occasions to be reported to the Holy See and in particular to the congregation for religious for reasons of perceived noncompliance," Mother Marilla told Church Militant in a statement.
A spokesperson from Westminster diocese told Church Militant that the nun had been reported to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in Rome following "complaints regarding [the] internal governance."
Speaking to Church Militant, Dr. John Zmirak, senior editor at The Stream, commented on how "bishops love to chirp about 'empowering' women but only want to hear the echo chambers of secularized feminists, whose shrill attacks on natural law and the teachings of the Church agree with their own decadent tendencies."
"When educated, faithful women who have dedicated their lives to the Church follow their properly formed consciences, that shames these priestlings. Any one of these worthy nuns is more of a 'man' than their cowardly bishop while living out beautifully genuine feminine callings," Zmirak, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism, remarked.
In September, medical doctor Primo Brugnaro reported his own sister, Prioress Angela Brugnaro, to the bishop of Padua Claudio Cipolla for refusing to get vaccinated, spreading "anti-vaccine messages" and attending Mass without a face mask.
"I left the sisters free. It is a very delicate thing, and I do not impose anything. The vaccine is not compulsory," Mother Brugnaro said.
As of press time, Cdl. Bassetti did not respond to Church Militant's request for comment.