The prioress of a Carmelite convent occupied by five rebel nuns Tuesday called "ridiculous" charges she has disrupted their austere and prayerful lifestyle with such modern amenities as television and snacks.

Mother Teresa Hewitt said the changes she has introduced at the Monastery of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel have been insignificant."We're anxious to have a conciliation (with the rebel nuns) and I have been here 14 months trying to do that," she told reporters.

"I'm looking for grace through prayer that the Lord will give us understanding to settle this problem," she said.

A Vatican envoy assigned to talk to the five dissident nuns left Monday without persuading them to end their protest, which entered its 15th day Tuesday.