Catholic nun asked to stop worshiping at breakaway church

June 20, 2013 at 8:22 AM

CLEVELAND, June 20 (UPI) -- A Cleveland nun was told by her order she risked expulsion for praying at a church outside the Catholic Church's authority, the congregation's newsletter said.

Sister Susan Clark was a member and served as music director for many years at the St. Peter Catholic Church in downtown Cleveland.

The church was closed as part of a diocese-wide downsizing three years ago, but 300 parishioners, along with the Rev. Robert Marrone, opened a new worship space in another location. Clark, a nun with the Sisters of Notre Dame, made the move with the group, though the new church, Community of St. Peter, was outside the authority of the Catholic Church.

Sister Margaret Gorman, superior for the Sisters of Notre Dame, said she asked Clark to stop worshiping at the Community of St. Peter, and Clark agreed, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported Thursday. Gorman said Clark was never threatened with expulsion, despite assertions in a Community of St. Peter newsletter that said otherwise.

"The removal of Sister Susan from our community and from our weekly liturgy is a horrible loss," Marrone said. "I say to those who are responsible for inflicting such pain and sadness on Sister Susan: Shame on you!"

Marrone was excommunicated from the church for celebrating unauthorized masses in March by Bishop Richard Lennon, the newspaper said.

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