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All confessors for nuns must be specially approved by the bishop, even those of convents that are exempt from his ordinary jurisdiction, and the bishop has also to provide that all nuns can have access two or three times in the year to an "extraordinary" confessor, other than their usual one.The bishop also is obliged periodically to visit and inspect all the convents in his diocese, excepting those that are exempt, at the time of which visitation every nun must be free to see him privately in order to make any complaints or suggestions that she may wish. Originally signified an assembly of Roman citizens in the provinces for purposes of administration and justice.
In the past there have been "anti-convent" and "convent-inspection" societies, as well as the lectures of "escaped nuns " and literature in abundance of the "Maria Monk " type, and they may be expected to crop up again periodically in the future.
These may and do for a time hamper the work of the nuns and cause a certain amount of disquietude in some quarters, but it is a significant fact that, whatever excitement they may raise for the time being, the agitation always dies down again as suddenly as it arises, and its harmful effects never appear to leave behind them any lasting results, except perhaps an increased interest in, and respect for, the conventual life that has been vilified.
There is always a distinction between their habit and that of the choir nuns, sometimes very slight and sometimes strongly marked.
In some orders where the choir sisters are enclosed the lay sisters are not; but in others they are as strictly enclosed as the choir nuns.
The nun Us day is divided between the choir, the workroom, the schoolroom, the refectory, the recreation room, the cell, and, with the active orders, the outside work, in periodical rotation. The earliest rules for nuns, as well as the most modern, all prescribe labour of some useful kind.