Pope Francis admits priests abused nuns and used them as 'sex slaves'

ME TOO More nuns have been coming forward since the #MeToo movement

During the audience, Francis also recalled his meetings with two 90-year-old priests who have both served in the UAE for many years.

Associated Press: "After decades of silence, nuns talk about abuse by priests" - "The nun no longer goes to confession regularly, after an Italian priest forced himself on her while she was at her most vulnerable: recounting her sins to him in a university classroom almost 20 years ago".

The Vatican, for example, launched an investigation a year ago into a small religious order in Chile after sisters reported some of their fellow nuns had been thrown out of the congregation after they brought their complaints of abuse by priests to their mother superior. He was referring to a scandal concerning a French congregation called "Soeurs Contemplatives de Saint Jean".

In 2013, the community publicly acknowledged that its founder, the Rev. Marie-Dominique Philippe, "sometimes made gestures contrary to chastity", with several women under his spiritual direction, according to La Croix, a Catholic newspaper in France. My thoughts - he said - goes to the families suffering from the pain, as well as to the Haitian people struck by this new tragedy. "We saw it as our only hope", the mothers of the girls, Andrea Sanchez and Jessica Atehortua, told Khaleej Times in an interview. The abuse was "still going on because it's not something that just goes away like that". The admission also comes in the wake of the International Union of Superiors General's November 2018 denouncement of the church's "culture of silence" concerning abused nuns.

The key is "to strip priests of their air of power, which is what allows them to behave this way".

In Chile, reports of abuse of nuns carried out by priests led the Vatican to launch an investigation a year ago.

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The official, the Reverend Hermann Geissler, chief of staff in the Vatican's doctrinal office, denied the allegation, the Vatican said.

During the news conference, the Pope was asked by a reporter about the L'Osservatore article and how he might confront the issue of nuns abused by clergy. Some priests, he said, have been suspended. Yes", he added. "Do we have the will? Yes.

"But when he became Pope, the first thing (he said was) bring me this from the archives and he began", Pope Francis said.

It said Pope Francis "considered this pope's holiness of life, witnessed to by his works and words" and took into account "the great influence of his apostolic ministry for the Church throughout the whole world".

The issue has come to the fore amid the Catholic Church's overall reckoning with the sexual abuse of minors and the #MeToo-inspired acknowledgement that adults can be victims of abuse whenever there is an imbalance of power in a relationship.

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