Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Catholic Abuse News - Pope Admits Clerical Abuse of Nuns

Pope admits clerical abuse of nuns including sexual slavery - BBC News

The Pope has at last admitted what has long been known - that in addition to children and vulnerable adults, priests often use nuns for sexual gratification. In fact, of course, to a sexually abusive cleric, nuns are merely a sub-group of vulnerable people.

This admission was made to reporters during the Pope's recent visit to the Middle East when he admitted the Catholic Church has a general problem having its roots in 'seeing women as second class' - which of course fully accords with the treatment of women in the Bible and something taken for granted by the Christian church for centuries, until very recently.

The Catholic Women's section in L'Osservatore Romao (Women and Church) is even alleging that nuns have been forced to have abortions

In what is believed to be the first acknowledgment by a Pope of the sexual abuse of nuns by the clergy, he admitted that his predecessor had shut down a an entire congregation of nuns in France, where the nuns were effectively sex slaves.

It's a path that we've been on. Pope Benedict had the courage to dissolve a female congregation which was at a certain level, because this slavery of women had entered it - slavery, even to the point of sexual slavery - on the part of clerics or the founder. [... sexual abuse of nuns was an ongoing problem, but happened largely in] certain congregations, predominantly new ones.

I think it's still taking place because it's not as though the moment you become aware of something it goes away.

Pope Francis

The community of sex slave nuns Pope Francis was referring to was Community of St Jean, France, dissolved in 2005. In 2013 it was admitted that the community's founder, Rev. Marie-Dominique Philippe and other priests had reduced the sister to sexual slavery.

This admission by the Pope comes on top of the arrest last year of Bishop Franco Mulakkal over allegations that he had rapes a nun 13 times between 2014 and 2016.

Meanwhile an investigation is underway in Chile into reported abuse of nuns and their expulsion from the order when they came forward with allegations. In France last year La Parisien reported the case of a nun 'Christelle', who alleges that she was sexually abused by a priest in her congregation between 2010 and 2011. An AP investigation last year also revealed widespread allegations of abuse of nuns by priests in Italy and Africa.

In 2013, the Rev. Anthony Musaala in Kampala, Uganda wrote what he called an open letter to members of the local Catholic establishment about “numerous cases” of alleged sex liaisons of priests, including with nuns. He charged that it was “an open secret that many Catholic priests and some bishops, in Uganda and elsewhere, no longer live celibate chastity.”

He was sanctioned, even though Ugandan newspapers regularly report cases of priests caught in sex escapades. The topic is even the subject of a popular novel taught in high schools.

In 2012, a priest sued a bishop in western Uganda who had suspended him and ordered him to stop interacting with at least four nuns. The priest, who denied the allegations, lost the suit, and the sisters later withdrew their own suit against the bishop.

Nicole Winfield and Rodney Muhumuza, July 27, 2018, AP

The recent spate of allegations is believed to be due to the success of the #metoo campaign which empowered women to speak out about abuses which had hitherto been thought of as acceptable or about which women would have been trouble-makers if they protested. The fact that progressive elements within the Catholic Church are beginning to come to terms with the general cultural rejection of the notion that women are somehow less than men and not deserving of full human rights, is an example of the church struggling to keep up with the developing morals of society. It also demonstrates how morals arise within cultures as cultures develop, and are not handed down from God via the medium of priests and preachers interpreting ancient texts.

Rather than leading moral development, the church is being forced, often reluctantly, to try to keep up or lose members.

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