This is the article that appeared in the April 2024 edition of Catalyst, our monthly journal. The date that prints out reflects the day that it was uploaded to our website. For a more accurate date of when the article was first published, check out the news release, here.

She’s advertised quite a bit on Fox News, posing as an advocate for TikTok. In full habit, she is introduced as Sister Monica Clare. Most people would just assume she is a Catholic nun—there aren’t too many Protestant ones—but they would be wrong. She’s an Episcopalian.

Sister Monica Clare may look like a traditionalist, but she is very much a radical activist. She champions gender equality, “inclusion,” women’s rights (presumably abortion) and Black Lives Matter (she’s even marched with them).

Born Claudette Monica Powell, she grew up in an unhappy household. Her father was a drug addict and mentally ill. She attended a Baptist church with her family, recalling that the Southern Baptists “were very anti-Roman Catholic.” She now claims expertise in dealing with “religious trauma.”

The good sister belongs to a small group of nuns in Mendham, New Jersey. In fact, it’s a dying order: at 58, she is the youngest of them all. Before becoming a nun she was married for two years to a “fanatical atheist,” which ended in divorce.

She then considered joining a Catholic order of nuns, confessing that her life was unfulfilled. But she did not like the Church’s teachings on homosexuality and was put off by the male clergy. Lucky for her, she is now about to become an Episcopal priest.

Her future is uncertain. While she is sure to continue posting animal videos, will her quest to climb the hierarchy and assume a privileged position in the Episcopal Church leave her TikTok fans feeling disabused? Or will she use her new mantle to become an even more rabid advocate of left-wing causes?

One thing is for certain. TikTok needs her. Under fire by Republicans and Democrats alike, it has been accused of violating data privacy and national security. John F. Plumb, assistant secretary of defense for space policy, has called it a “potential threat vector” to the United States. “Chinese cyber intrusions are the most prolific in the world,” he says.

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers has accused TikTok of conspiring with the Communists, saying, “The Chinese Communist Party poses the greatest national security threat to the United States of our time.” Congressman Mike Gallagher is even more pointed. “This is my message to Tiktok: break up with the Chinese Communist Party or lose access to American users.” On March 13, the House voted 352-65 to ban TikTok.

When Sister Monica Clare climbs the social ladder to Rev. (it makes no sense for a woman to call herself “Father,” unless, of course, she wants to self-identity as such), she may be asked to save TikTok from Washington. The pivotal question is whether she is more likely to side with the Communists than the Congress.

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