Pope admits nuns have been sexually abused by clergy


Pope Francis has admitted that clerics have sexually abused nuns, and in one case they were kept as sex slaves.

He said in that case his predecessor, Pope Benedict, was forced to shut down an entire congregation of nuns who were being abused by priests.

It is thought to be the first time that Pope Francis has acknowledged the sexual abuse of nuns by the clergy.

He said the Church was attempting to address the problem but said it was “still going on”.

Pope Francis made the comments on Feb 5 in response to a journalist’s question on the abuse of nuns, speaking on the return flight from his trip to the United Arab Emirates.

He admitted that priests and bishops had abused nuns, but said the Church was aware of the issue and “working on it”.

“It’s a path that we’ve been on,” he said.

“Pope Benedict had the courage to dissolve a female congregation which was at a certain level, because this slavery of women had entered it – slavery, even to the point of sexual slavery – on the part of clerics or the founder.”

Pope Francis said the problem was ongoing but happened largely in “certain congregations, predominantly new ones and in certain regions more than others”.

Last November, the Catholic Church’s global organisation for nuns denounced the “culture of silence and secrecy” that prevented them from speaking out.

Just days ago the Vatican’s women’s magazine, Women Church World, condemned the abuse, saying in some cases nuns were forced to abort priests’ children – something Catholicism forbids.

The magazine said the #MeToo movement meant more women were now coming forward with their stories.

(source: BBC)

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2 thoughts on “Pope admits nuns have been sexually abused by clergy

  1. Why does the media get to interact with the Pope only when he is on a flight? Should he not have regular interactions with the media to assuage doubts and instill confidence in the community?

  2. It is shocking and alarming to read the statements of Pope Francis regarding the sex abuse by the clergy. He has the humility to admit openly that clerics have sexually abused nuns, and in one case they were kept as sex slaves!!??!!

    In another statement he has made a revelation: “Pope Benedict had the courage to dissolve a female congregation which was at a certain level, because this slavery of women had entered it – slavery, even to the point of sexual slavery – on the part of clerics or the founder.”

    The natural questions that can be raised are:
    Why Pope Francis is lacking the courage of his predecessor Pope Benedict?
    Is something binding him within the Vatican?
    Does he feel that he is a prisoner and helpless in initiating appropriate actions against the erring clergy?
    Why is the Vatican still silent about Bishop Franco who has been accused of sexual abuse of nuns in India?
    Truth cannot be buried for long time. The time will answer these questions.

    In India, except the recent event of the nuns who accused Bishop Franco, NO OTHER NUNS (who have been sexually abused by the clergy or being abused continuously), have the COURAGE to come out in public. What does this mean? They “prefer to be the silent sufferers and carry this cross, all in the name of their religious VOWS!!!

    The time is ripe for the women congregations in India to wake up from their “deep sleep”, become aware of their “slavery in many forms” and take corrective measures to safeguard themselves. Let us wait and see how many nuns in India join “Me Too” movement and bring the culprit clergies before the Law.

    Hello, Forum for Justice and Peace, are you listening?

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