The Vatican’s women’s magazine is denouncing the sexual abuse of nuns by priests and the resulting “scandal” of religious sisters having abortions or giving birth to children who are then not recognised by their fathers.
The February issue of “Women Church World”, a monthly magazine distributed alongside the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, was published on Friday. It cited Pope Francis’ own analysis of abuse by saying clerical power was at the root of the problem. It said nuns have been silenced for years by fear of retaliation against themselves or their orders if they report the priests who molested them.
The publication marks a significant public acknowledgement from inside the Vatican of the problem that the Holy See has long known about but has done next to nothing to address.
Last year media reported on the scandal, the international association of women’s religious orders urged sisters to report abuse to police and their superiors, a significant shattering of the silence that has long kept the problem secret. In the article, editor Lucetta Scaraffia notes that for centuries women in the church have been depicted as “dangerous and temptresses,” which has complicated the acceptance within the Catholic hierarchy that they can be victims of unwanted sexual advances by priests.