The Nuns Refused

In the 1560s two Dominican nuns refused to install a grill in their cloister alleging the requirement to be slur on their community. The instruction had been given to separate the public area of the convent parlors from the nun’s private area beyond which cloistered nuns could not pass without their bishop’s approval in accordance with directives from the Council of Trent. The nuns were aware of recent Protestant pamphlets alleging “secret tunnels” to rectories, but they still refused the order. It was thought at the time these nuns could “get away” with this insubordination because they were sisters to the pope. However Pope Pius IV, their brother, wrote them a letter saying quite simply that he would be most pleased if those related to him by ties of blood and affection set a good example for other convents. They weren’t brave enough to ignore the plea. Read more on this in my recently released novel The Hidden Saint: The 16th Century Church in Crisis.

Hidden Saint