Pope Francis Admits Priests And Bishops Sexually Abused Nuns

The Associated Press

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Investigative reports dating back to the 1990s revealed that nuns in several countries suffered systematic abuse, but Tuesday marks the first time the Church has officially acknowledged the problem.

But many Catholics say abuse of vulnerable adults, including nuns and seminarians, has always been a problem in the church.

For the first time today, the head of Vatican, Pope Francis, has publicly acknowledged that sexual assault and rape are happening inside the Catholic Church.

The pontiff said his predecessor Benedict XVI had dissolved a religious order of women because of "sexual slavery on the part of priests and the founder". Experts say that dependency has dissuaded mother superiors from taking accusations from their sisters up the chain of command, since the bishop could retaliate against the congregation if he has a greater interest in protecting his priest. "'I think it is still going on because something does not stop just because you have become aware of it, ' he added". "We've been working on this for a long time".

"We regret that when we did know of instances of abuse, we did not speak out more forcefully for an end to the culture of secrecy and cover-ups within the Catholic Church that have discouraged victims from coming forward", said the association based in Silver Spring, Maryland. Is there the will? Yes.

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"I often thought of St. Francis during this visit", the pope said.

The Vatican newspaper's women's magazine, L'Osservatore Romano, last week blamed the all-male clergy for the crisis.

Having considered the holiness of St Paul VI and the influence of his ministry for the Church worldwide, Pope Francis has approved putting the saint on the Church's universal calendar of feast days as an optional - not obligatory - memorial. Mary Dispenza is a former nun who, when she was a child, suffered abuse from a priest.

The abuse of adult nuns-like the child abuse scandals rocking the church-has also been a global one.

"It's a path that we've been on".

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Francis's admission of the problem was "the umpteenth blow to the church's image, but also an occasion to show that change really is underway", Scaraffia said. "We are working on it." the Pope said.

Similar cases have also been reported in India, where a bishop was arrested past year over allegations he raped a nun 13 times between 2014 and 2016. The bishop, Franco Mulakkal, was subsequently arrested and faces prosecution.

"When the Holy Father, referring to the dissolution of a Congregation, spoke of 'sexual slavery, ' he meant 'manipulation, ' a form of abuse of power which is reflected also in sexual abuse", said Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti, CNN Reported.

As for the church's efforts to route out abuse, Francis urged the faithful to pray that the church is successful in doing so.

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