“I was born inside the Palmar” says Clara.
When she came to the world her family was already part of the Palmarian Church. However, when she was 21 and tired of its senseless rules, Clara decided to leave El Palmar and was excommunicated. For the next years, her siblings follow her, all except one. The youngest of her sisters was 17 when she went on vacations with her parents to el Palmar de Troya. There, the nuns brainwashed her and, when she got back to her town, she decided she wanted to become a cloister nun.
When the family returned to El Palmar for the Hispanity Day, Clara’s youngest sister became novice María Verónica.
I can’t understand that radical change she did»
With three children outside El Palmar and a daughter as a cloister nun, Clara’s parents had to decide whether to stay inside the order and be unable to ever talk with their excommunicated children again, or leave the Palmarian Church and be able to enjoy a life beside their children and grandchildren, but unable to see their nun daughter. It wasn’t an easy decision, especially for Clara’s father, but with her help he finally came to his senses and and both parents left the sect.
It’s been 22 years since the last time Clara saw her sister, but she has received news from her in few occasions. At the beginning they phoned her, but they were always asked to have the permission of the Pope, in order to talk to her. Bear in mind, there is no way of contacting the Pope, so getting him to grand a permit is impossible. Because of this, Clara’s family decided to contact the Civil Guard in order to rescue the sister from the convent.
However, when the police entered the convent looking for Sister María Verónica, she declared she was fine and that she didn’t want to leave. Being of legal age, the Civil Gard couldn’t take her against her will.
«You did whatever they told you because the truth was there and they were living a lie»
Despite this statement, Clara knows that her sister has been through a lot in the convent. The family received a letter from an older cloister nun who told them that Sister María Verónica had been ill and wasn’t attended correctly. Furthermore, while being a novice, her superiors took advantage of her innocence and asked for her to do certain tasks that were too much for her. She had been psychologically abused -for instance, the Pope expelled her from the chorus while yelling at her violently-.
Clara thinks her sister will state that she is okay because she is scared and has given into the pressure and psychological abuse. Clara believes that to restrain her sister, the other nuns have made her feel afraid of leaving the Palmarian Church by telling her that she would be a bad nun, that no one would love her outside and that she’s protected where she’s now.
«You aren’t a normal person any more, you’re inhibited»
Nevertheless, the Palmarian Church has used Sister María Verónica to tempt Clara’s family to re-enter the sect. In one occasion, El Palmar called Clara’s mother to tell her that her daughter was sick and missed her. Clara’s mother was about to leave everything behind and go back to the Palmarian Church to stay beside her daughter. Fortunately, Clara was able to prevent her mother from going back to El Palmar.
On another occasion, a different nun in El Palmar called the family pretending to be Sister María Verónica, but Clara’s mother was able to realise the trick and paid no mind to the false interaction.Given this lack of communication with her sister, Clara fears that no one will notify her family about her sister’s condition inside El Palmar, even when she passes away. Moreover, if her sister were to die in the convent, she would be buried in the crypt below the basilica, meaning her family will never be able to attend her funeral or even visit her tomb.
«I used to live in my ignorance […]. I do my truth and you do yours»