Pope Francis was traveling in the Middle East earlier this week. On Tuesday, he spoke to reporters about priests in the church sexually abusing nuns, and one instance where nuns were kept as sex slaves.
Francis told reporters that Pope Benedict closed an entire congregation of nuns because of the abuse they were suffering from priests.
Francis admitted that, despite the church working to address the problem, nuns are still being abused by priests.
In November, an event was held in Rome where nuns and other Catholic women gathered and spoke about the church's abuse problem. One of the women who spoke had been a nun allegedly abused by a priest.
On Wednesday of this week, the Vatican attempted to provide more insight into the comments Pope Francis made the previous day. Alessandro Gisotti, interim director of the Vatican press center, said that when Francis “spoke of ‘sexual slavery’" he meant "'manipulation’ or a type of abuse of power that is reflected in a sexual abuse.”
Uh, sure, thanks for clearing that up Gisotti.
Reports have identified the congregation of nuns that Francis was referring to when he referenced his predecessor, Pope Benedict, dissolving a congregation due to the abuse suffered.
A congregation of nuns under the Community of St. Jean in France, was dissolved in 2005 by Benedict. In 2013, the Community of St. Jean admitted that men among their clergy had acted "in ways that went against chastity" with several of the women in their organization.
That is one way of putting it. Another way of putting it would be that the priests could not stop raping nuns, so the church just eventually got rid of the nuns.
Francis went on to say that the church was aware of the "scandal" and was "working on it." Right, like the way they have been working on the abuse committed against children?
The fact is, every time we hear or read a story about abuse committed by members of the Catholic clergy, it always includes information about the institutional protection granted to the priests and the church's reputation. The victims are, at best, ignored, and have often been threatened or worse.
Anyone who continues to support the Catholic Church at this point should have a great deal on their conscience.