It absolutely was an enthusiastic accusation significantly more lurid than just about any well-known anti-clerical satire, laden with sexual transgressions, heretical means and you may homicidal plans
During the summer regarding 1859, a desperate nun on Roman convent out of Sant’Ambrogio sent a great page so you’re able to this lady kinsman, good bishop on the Vatican. She pleaded that have your in order to save the lady, stating one to she is the target of a lot poisonings and you may was in mortal issues. Whenever their relative the fresh new bishop replied her telephone call and you will come to Sant’Ambrogio, the guy guaranteed so you’re able to cut this lady and very quickly produced on that pledge. From his house for the Tivoli, the new treated however, traumatized Katharina von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen started initially to write an excellent denunciation off the woman that-date sisters into Rome. Additionally, the scenario contrary to the convent out of Sant’Ambrogio got tendrils one mounted to the best is at of your Church and you can entwined to the nice Catholic controversies during the day.
Hubert Wolf’s “New Nuns regarding Sant’Ambrogio” also provides a read yet interesting membership on the incident – little-known while the Vatican remaining most of the embarrassing info in-home, an insurance plan it would use when addressing sexual-punishment scandals 100 years afterwards
In reality, the latest Sant’Ambrogio case are in itself an intercourse-punishment scandal, in the event you to definitely aspect, but not sensational, was not necessarily the brand new Church’s number 1 concern.
Katharina, an effective Hohenzollern princess, belonged to 1 of the high royal Germanic dynasties, including the new Hapsburgs. (This lady granddaughter is the fresh new queen from Portugal.) Twice widowed and sickly, she entered this new convent inside her late 30s, looking to an effective “a location out of cloistered comfort and you will holy buy” in which to call home good contemplative lives, regardless of if she including nurtured the newest dream of setting up your order of her very own. Sant’Ambrogio is “enclosed,” meaning that the nuns was indeed sequestered off all connection with the new outside industry except that rare interview conducted because of material bars and you may visits away from priestly confessors otherwise medical professionals. Just within the issues were people, also priests, welcome for the clausura, or convent interior.
So it hushed plan seemed only the pass to the tired, devout princess, however, no ultimately got she make the cloth than just she first started to remember unsettling issues to help you convent life. The issues founded to Aunt Maria Luisa, a great nun in her own very early 20s who had in some way obtained multiple ranking off expert on the buy, like the label out-of inexperienced mistress (overseer of your own novices). Maria Luisa, regardless if from lowly delivery, try stunning, intelligent and also magnetic. In composing this lady accusation, Katharina could not refrain from praising the newest amateur mistress’ “advanced appeal and convenience inside conversation” and her monitor regarding “the utmost delicacy in her own negotiations with individuals.”
The new little princess ended up being a bit troubled by-the-way the fresh sisters off Sant’Ambrogio venerated their convent’s late founder, Maria Agnese Firrao, and even more troubled of the comparable cult which had shaped around the really-much-real time Maria Luisa. New beginner mistress received regular visions, messages plus letters out of eg beautiful personages as Virgin Mary and you will Jesus themselves, wore holy groups supposedly bestowed on her of the exact same parties and you can appeared to keeps individuals about abbess with the convent’s confessors covered doing the woman hand. Maria Luisa actually was hearing confessions and you will doing some sorts of exorcism towards the a struggling child labeled as “the fresh new Americano” (he was in reality Tyrolean). The legal right to perform these and other sacred rites was kepted strictly to own priests – and not most of the priests, either.
Just what very sent Katharina along the edge, although not, is a letter from the Americano, written in German, one Maria Luisa displayed her because the beginner domme herself you certainly will perhaps not take a look at code. Based on Katharina (this new page is actually never ever brought at demonstration), the guy utilized “extremely serious words” and you may, as Wolf throws it, “essentially requested each other nuns to engage in sexual acts with him.”