While we know countless people are victims of abuse at the hands of priests and clergy in the Catholic Church; we are now aware that they are not the only ones.
In a startling revelation, Pope Francis said priests and bishops have sexually abused nuns. Furthermore, some nuns have also given birth or had abortions from these assaults.
According to NPR, on his way home to Rome from the Pope’s historic trip to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, a reporter asked Pope Francis about a story that was published last week that revealed this kind of abuse had been going on for years. The magazine — published in Italian and titled Women Church World — said that “nuns have been silenced for years by fear of retaliation against themselves or their orders if they report the priests who molested them,” the Washington Post reports.
A reporter asked the Pope if this was true and he acknowledged that it was and that it’s probably still going on today.
“It is true … there have been priests and even bishops who have done this,” Pope Francis said according to Reuters. “I think it is still going on because something does not stop just because you have become aware of it,” he added.
He also said that former Pope Benedict had “dissolved a religious order of women” in 2005 “because slavery had become part of it (the religious order), even sexual slavery on the part of priests and the founder.”
“We have been working on this for a long time,” the Pope said. “We have suspended some priests because of this,” and added “I can’t say ‘this does not happen in my house.’ It is true. Do we have to do more? Yes. Are we willing? Yes.”
Women Church World editor, Lucetta Scaraffia, wrote that “If the church continues to close its eyes to the scandal — 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 — the condition of oppression of women in the church will never change.”