Pope Francis admits sexual relations between nuns and priests – is it abuse or just human nature?
NBC News – Pope Francis for the first time publicly acknowledged that nuns have also been the victims of sexual abuse at the hands of predator priests and bishops.
Vowing to do more to protect vulnerable nuns, the pontiff also credited his predecessor, Pope Benedict, with taking action against a French-based order after some of its nuns were subjected to “sexual slavery.”
“Should we do something more? Yes,” Francis told reporters during a press conference on the papal flight back to Rome from his historic two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates …
Francis: “Humanity hasn’t matured.”
“It’s not something that everyone does, but there have been priests and even bishops who have done what you say,” Francis added. “And I think that it’s continuing because it’s not like once you realize it that it stops. It continues. And for some time we’ve been working on it.”
Francis said some clerics have been suspended for abusing nuns.
But he said the mistreatment of women is not limited to the church because in many parts of the world, they are still considered “second-class citizens.”
“It’s a cultural problem,” he said. “I dare say that humanity hasn’t matured.”
The French order Francis was referring to is The Community of St. Jean, which admitted in 2013 that several nuns had been preyed upon by priests.
Long an open secret in the Catholic Church, the issue of sexual abuse of nuns was dragged into the open by the #MeToo movement and the reporting of the Associated Press and other news organizations that found cases of nuns being abused in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia.
In November, the International Union of Superiors General, which represents all the world’s female Catholic religious orders, publicly denounced the “culture of silence and secrecy” that prevented nuns from speaking out.
It also urged nuns to report abuse to both the police and their superiors. Read more.
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