Clicks2.3K

Nun resists Vatican attempt to shut German abbey

Irapuato
9
(AP. 26 Dec 2016) Sister Apollonia Buchinger has walked the labyrinthine halls of Altomuenster Abbey in Germany for two and a half decades and is now the last Bridgettine nun living there. Without …More
(AP. 26 Dec 2016) Sister Apollonia Buchinger has walked the labyrinthine halls of Altomuenster Abbey in Germany for two and a half decades and is now the last Bridgettine nun living there.
Without the minimum three nuns needed for a monastery, the Vatican has ordered Altomuenster closed.
But Sister Apollonia fought back. She decided to open up a precious library that scholars consider the "holy grail" for Bridgettine research and the thousands of works of art in its possession.
This library has been off-limits to all but nuns for more than five centuries.
Scholars had only a brief glimpse at the hundreds of tomes with a plan to return and fully catalog the collection when the order for the dissolution of the monastery came in from the Vatican.
The person now in charge, Sister Gabriele Konrad, locked the collection down, along with some 2,300 statues, paintings and other works of art, as part of her duties to inventory Altomuenster's collections.
Since 1496, the former Benedictine abbey in Bavaria has housed the Altomuenster branch of the order founded by Saint Bridget in Sweden in the 14th century, which uniquely is run by women.
It's one of three from the original branch of the order still operating today. It survived the Protestant reformation that saw many northern branches destroyed, escaped the 30 Years War unscathed and even avoided becoming a hospital for the Nazi SS in the final days of World War II.
But what war couldn't do, modernity has and it appears that the monastery will become another casualty of the shrinking Catholic Church unless the Vatican changes its mind.
Sister Apollonia has appealed to the Vatican for more time, convinced she will be able to turn things around with help from other Bridgettine Orders to start training her own novices to become nuns.
With the help of her only postulant, a 38-year-old who left a law career last year to become a nun but is unable to continue without more nuns to teach her, Sister Apollonia's started a blog, a Twitter account and even a Facebook page to try and generate interest in Altomuenster.
Sister Gabriele points out, however, that the decline of Altomuenster has been going on for decades and that previous attempts to bring in other nuns failed. For example, when two Bridgettines came from Mexico came in 2012 only to return home after two weeks because they were homesick and didn't fit in.
As a Papal Order, the Vatican itself has oversight of Altomuenster and if the plans go ahead to close it down, all of its property would be turned over to the local church authorities, in this case the dioceses of Munich and Freising, which sought to downplay the significance of the library in a statement to the AP.
The dioceses said the collection includes "a large number of antiphonaries from the 18th century, most in very used and some in damaged condition," and that six antiphonaries - books containing religious chants - from the Middle Ages have "already been studied by scholars."
The Bridgettine Order was founded by Saint Bridget of Sweden in the mid-14th Century and was open to both men and women. The Order's rules called for a monastery to have a maximum 60 nuns and 13 priests and be governed by an abbess; the nuns all wear a distinctive veil topped with a white "crown" with five red points representing Jesus' five wounds from crucifixion.
If the plans go ahead to close the monastery, the Munich and Freising dioceses would take over its properties - which is why Sister Apollonia believes it's being closed. Altomuenster is the terminus of a subway line from Munich, one of Germany's most expensive cities, and the monastery has many acres of fields and forests in addition to the city-block sized abbey - property thought to be worth tens of millions of euros.
Irapuato
Hesselblad Good idea...
Hesselblad
Why don't Altomunster seek help/support/nuns from the bransch of 600 nuns of St Elisabeth Hesselblad in Rome at Piazza Farnese? Does anyone know?
Irapuato likes this.
Irapuato
Greetings to all Bavarians out there....
Sunamis 46 likes this.
Sunamis 46
i was made and Born in Germany into a catholic bavarian family i greet all the other bavarians living in USA-god bless you
i am sorry for my english, i am reall glad i speak better german
Irapuato likes this.
Sunamis 46
no wonder if you were Born in germany
Irapuato likes this.
Irapuato
Sunamis 46 Thank YOU! Good that you are fluent in German
Sunamis 46 likes this.
Sunamis 46
the sad Thing ist, they are about to Close more abbeys down, the man from the dioces of munich said in the interview
Irapuato likes this.
Irapuato
“There’s a false impression that we’re taking in riches and gems and gold and everything imaginable — that’s nonsense,” says Peter Beer, Cardinal Reinhard Marx’s deputy in charge of administration to AP at his office in Munich. “We are taking on costs more than anything… we do not need any help from the U.S.A. to understand how to treat cultural assets of significance for Europe. We …More
“There’s a false impression that we’re taking in riches and gems and gold and everything imaginable — that’s nonsense,” says Peter Beer, Cardinal Reinhard Marx’s deputy in charge of administration to AP at his office in Munich. “We are taking on costs more than anything… we do not need any help from the U.S.A. to understand how to treat cultural assets of significance for Europe. We have a slightly longer history and slightly longer experience,” Beer concludes, referring to an open letter from American and European academics. In a final statement he adds, “it is a little irritating to have things thrown out in public in an open letter without the facts.” The diocese has explained that it is their intention to have the parts of the library, which dates before 1803 digitized in order to make it available for scholars.
However, at stake here is much more than just the curation of the singular gems in the collection; at stake are the multiple traces of the life-world and the religious and spiritual practice of a group of the Bridgettine nuns, who formed a living community for more than 500 years.
Also, the group of concerned scholars do not just stem from Arizona or Chicago. Representatives from the Universities in Sweden, England, Denmark and Holland are also engaged in trying to establish a dialogue with the Diocese.
Irapuato
Medieval Bridgettine Treasure in Danger of Being Dispersed
The Altomünster Abbey, founded in AD 750 have housed Bridgettine nuns nearly continuously since 1496. Suddenly, in December 2015, the Munich Diocese decided to close the convent. Since then, the future fate of the priceless collections has been unknown.
www.medievalhistories.com/medieval-bridge…