Pope says priests kept nuns as sex slaves

Frederick Owens
February 9, 2019

Francis cited the case when responding to a question about the sexual abuse of nuns by clergy during a press conference Tuesday returning home from the United Arab Emirates.

"It's not that everyone does this, but there have been priests and bishops who have", Francis told reporters.

Francis also revealed that his predecessor, Benedict XVI, had sought to remove priests who committed sexual abuse and even "sexual slavery". She admitted there was "great resistance" to investigating abuse claims within the church and uncovering predator priests, but added that there had initially been reluctant to address the clerical paedophilia crisis, "but that was overcome". The Pope spoke of greeting the first priest who went to those lands; "he is blind and in the wheelchair, but he has such a smile.".

The papal admission followed a rare outcry last week from the Vatican's women's magazine, "Women Church World", over the rape of nuns, leaving them feeling forced to have abortions or raise children not recognised by their priest fathers.

By Robin GomesThe Etihad Airways flight carrying Pope Francis from Abu Dhabi at the end of his February 3-5 apostolic visit to the UAE, landed ahead of schedule at Rome's Ciampino airport Tuesday evening.

Francis said some priests have already been suspended and charges are being handled on a case-by-case basis.

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Francis said the problem could be found "anywhere" but was prevalent in "some new congregations and in some regions". In the past year, The Associated Press and other media have reported on cases of abused nuns in India, Africa, Europe and South America - evidence that the problem is by no means limited to a certain geographic area.

We'll shed light on the newest scandal for the Catholic Church. They said that if they receive a report of abuse they will help the person bring the complaint "to the appropriate organizations". My thoughts - he said - goes to the families suffering from the pain, as well as to the Haitian people struck by this new tragedy.

POPE FRANCIS: (Through interpreter) I dare say that humanity has not yet matured.

Francis asserted that the church has taken measures to combat the problem of abuse against nuns for years, even going so far as to dissolve an entire order, but also admitted that more must be done.

He recalled that over one million Christians live in the UAE, mainly workers from Asian countries, and that he met with representatives of the Catholic community at Abu Dhabi's St Josepth Cathedral, celebrating a mass with patriarchs, archbishops and bishops in which they "prayed in particular for peace and justice, with special intention for the Middle East and Yemen".

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