Edit: I'm guessing we're still not any closer to knowing why these steps were taken.
The crisis of the Sisters of St. John -- The Prior of Marchegg takes issue with kath.net's statement and makes some reproaches against the sisters.
Vienna (kath.net) The kath.net-exclusive article about the tragic developments with the Sisters of St. John has led to some reactions. Father Luc, the Prior of the Johannine Brothers, would like a word, as he has written some reproaches of the sisters, which would refute statements mentioned in the article. Fr. Luc clearly states that he calls upon the same founder, Fr. Marie-Dominque Philippe OP. Not withstanding the two branches work as two "autonomous congregations with their own superiors, their own constitutions and statutes." The brothers then also don't want to reveal the internal difficulties of the sisters. The Prior explains to kath.net that the Cloister of the Sisters in Marchegg, Austria, is empty at present. "We take care of it it however and use it in any case as a prayer and guest place, in the expectation that our sisters will return."
As to the reproach the sisters make that the General Prior of the Brothers want to have the highest authority over all three branches of the Johannine family, Fr. Luc imparted clarifying to kath.net: "Each of the three congregations in the family of St. John, that means the brothers, the contemplative sisters and also the apostolic sisters, have their own leadership structure. Our founder desired this from the beginning. Some years before a "council of the Johannine family" was founded with the three general priors ("Conseil de Famille"), in order to strengthen cooperation between the three congregations. It was never the case of a 'highest authority': as attempt to reduce this complex crisis to a power struggle is really very theatrical, but it doesn't correspond to reality. God knows, how much all of the brothers pray for and support their sisters and to carry this consequences of this crisis with patience. We have the secure hope that better times must come, and each will recognize the clear will of God."
Link to kath.net..