#Nunstoo – Pope admits priests abused nuns

A #Nunstoo movement has gained momentum since Pope Francis last week admitted Catholic clergy’s sexual abuse of nuns.

“There are some priests and also bishops who have done it,” the pontiff said last week in response to a journalist’s question during his return flight from the United Arab Emirates.

Francis’s admission followed an outcry last week in the Vatican’s women’s magazine over the sexual abuse of nuns by priests.

The magazine went on to say this has led to religious sisters feeling forced to have abortions or raise children not recognised by their fathers.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which is the largest US organization of women religious, thanked Francis for shedding “light on a reality that has been largely hidden from the public”.

It called for measures to address the issue, saying it’s time to rethink the Church’s male-led hierarchy.

The LCWR also made a statement asking for reporting guidelines to be established so abused nuns “are met with compassion and are offered safety”.

News media reports and the #MeToo movement have brought the issue of sexual violence against nuns to the fore, which for women religious has morphed into a new hashtag: #Nunstoo has been trending in recent days.

The LCWR says it is grateful Francis has “shed light on a reality that has been largely hidden from the public and we believe his honesty is an important and significant step forward”.

It also acknowledged some religious congregations have been part of the problem as they didn’t support sisters in coming forward to report abuse in the past.

“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,” the LCWR says.

Not speaking up is seen to have been a reflection of the church’s overreaching concern with protecting its reputation from scandal, as well as the fear of reprisals internally for speaking out.

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News category: World.

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