Pope Publicly Acknowledges for First Time Clergy Sexual Abuse of Nuns

Pope Publicly Acknowledges for First Time Clergy Sexual Abuse of Nuns

Pope Publicly Acknowledges for First Time Clergy Sexual Abuse of Nuns

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE Pope Francis, whose papacy has been marked by efforts to quell a global crisis over sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy, said on Tuesday he was committed to stopping the abuse of nuns by priests and bishops, some of whom had used the women as sex slaves.

Pope Francis says his pilgrimage this week to the United Arab Emirates wrote a "new page in history of the dialogue between Christianity and Islam" and in promoting world peace based on brotherhood. "There are priests and bishops who have done that". We'll shed light on the newest scandal for the Catholic Church.

More nuns have been coming forward to describe the abuse at the hands of priests and Bishops, after being inspired by the #MeToo movement.

Pope Francis (R) leads mass for an estimated 170,000 Catholics at an Abu Dhabi sports stadium on February 5, 2019.

The Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, last week added that the abuse of nuns by priests and bishops at times is "made even worse by the fact that abuse of women brings about procreation and is therefore at the origin of forced abortions and children who aren't recognized by priests".

It said the Vatican received reports of priests abusing nuns in Africa in the 1990s.

The Vatican, for example, launched an investigation past year into a small religious order in Chile after sisters reported some of their fellow nuns had been thrown out of the congregation after they brought their complaints of abuse by priests to their mother superior.

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A spokesman confirmed that the order to which Francis referred was the Community of St. Jean in France.

When Pope Francis talked about "sexual slavery" he meant "manipulation, a type of abuse of power also present in sexual abuse", said the Vatican on Tuesday. And yet church authorities have rarely addressed the issue publicly.

The International Union of Superiors General, which represents female Catholic religious orders around the world, denounced in November what it called the "culture of silence and secrecy" in the church that kept nuns from speaking about abuse.

"Pope Benedict had the courage to dissolve a women's congregation that had a certain level because this slavery of women had entered, even sexual slavery, by clerics or by the founder", the Pope said.

In a separate case in India past year, a bishop was arrested over allegations that he raped a nun 13 times between 2014 and 2016. The abuse was "still going on, because it's not something that just goes away like that", he added.

"There are cases, usually in new congregations and in some regions more than others", he said. "I want it to go forward".

She said the issue was abusive power relationships, with clerics controlling everything from nuns' vocations to their salaries.

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