Roman Catholics: Getting the Word

Several Catholic orders, ranging from the Carmelite nuns to the Capuchin friars, practice the rule of silence. None has observed it as strictly as the Trappist monks who, since their founding in 1098, have made an article of conscience St. Benedict's warning that "those who talk much cannot avoid sin." Trappists have normally been allowed to speak only when intoning the Gregorian chant at High Mass, reciting prayers at five other daily services, and when it is necessary to address superiors.

A Trappist who carelessly lets words drop on other occasions is required...

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