Seated one chair away from the pontiff, Sister Veronica lets loose a barrage – ‘hypocrisy and complacency’
By Daniel Burke, CNN Religion Editor – Sister Veronica Openibo, a Nigerian-born nun, is one of only three women to address an unprecedented Vatican summit on clergy sexual abuse.
She did not waste the opportunity.
In clear, direct and unsparing language, Openibo challenged the church’s culture of silence on sexual issues and said priests are too often put on pedestals.
Openibo also criticized the practice of letting elderly clergy who had abused children retire quietly with their pension and good names in place.
“Let us not hide such events anymore because of the fear of making mistakes,” Openibo said after reading a searing summary of abuse cases she has heard about during her work on sexual education in Nigeria.
“How could the clerical church have kept silent, covering [up] these atrocities?” – Sister Veronica Openibo
“Too often we want to keep silent until the storm has passed! This storm will not pass by. Our credibility is at stake.”
At one point, Openibo appeared to look toward Pope Francis, who was sitting on the dais to her right, when calling for a policy of “zero tolerance” toward clergy who abuse children.
In calling for “zero tolerance,” a policy whose definition appears to vary widely among Catholics, Openibo echoed the calls of dozens of abuse survivors gathered for protests and vigils on the streets of Vatican City this week.
Wearing glasses and speaking gently though plainly, she addressed the Pope directly as “Brother Francis” … “Priests want to have sex.” Priest Explains Church Crisis
Also on Saturday, it was revealed that documents that could have contained proof of abuse in the Catholic Church were destroyed or never drawn up.
“Hypocrisy and complacency have brought us to this disgraceful and scandalous place that we find ourselves as a church. ” – Sister Veronica Openibo [SEE THE FULL VIDEO HERE]
Archbishop of Munich Cardinal Reinhard Marx made the admission during a speech at the Vatican in which he said, “Files that could have documented the terrible deeds and named those responsible were destroyed or not even created.”
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