Pope Finally Calls the Sexual Abuse of Nuns “A Problem”

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The Catholic Church has been in the news a lot recently, and it’s usually not for good reasons. The church’s biggest issues begin and end with sexual abuse, with children being the most common victims because they are the easiest of targets. However, this time it’s not children, but it’s still a big problem: the sexual abuse of nuns by priests and bishops.

This week, for the first time, Pope Francis has acknowledged the sexual abuse of nuns as “a problem” in the Catholic Church, saying: “we’ve been working on this for some time.”

From the press conference that was held aboard the papal plane during a return flight to Rome from the United Arab Emirates, the Pope stated, “There have been priests and also bishops who have done that . . . I believe that it may still be being done. It’s not a thing that from the moment in which you realize it, it’s over. The thing goes forward like this. We’ve been working on this for a long time.”

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI tried to take action about this issue before but was thwarted by Vatican insiders. “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 India, a group of nuns who spoke out about alleged sexual abuse by a bishop in the southern Indian state of Kerala claim the church is attempting to transfer them to other parts of the country, in an apparent attempt to silence them. All the women who received these transfer notices had supported a fellow nun who alleged last year that Bishop Franco Mulakkal had raped her thirteen times between 2014 and 2016. The incidents reportedly occurred in a guest house of the St. Franco Mission Home in Kerala.

Recently, in our own area, a Father John Bohrer of Saint Teresa of Calcutta Parish had stepped down as priest over a decades-old sex-abuse allegation.

While it is important that these issues are being addressed, there is still much more progress to be made.