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Austin Cline

Vatican Admits Priests are Raping Nuns Around the World

By March 23, 2011

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It's not just little kids who are endangered by Catholic priests -- Catholic nuns also have reason to fear. The Vatican has finally admitted that nuns all around the world have been sexually abused and even raped by priests. Africa has had the most problems, but many other countries have been involved as well, including India, Ireland, Italy, the Philippines and the United States.

Confidential Vatican reports obtained by the National Catholic Reporter, a weekly magazine in the US, have revealed that members of the Catholic clergy have been exploiting their financial and spiritual authority to gain sexual favours from nuns, particularly those from the Third World who are more likely to be culturally conditioned to be subservient to men.

The reports, some of which are recent and some of which have been in circulation for at least seven years, said that such priests had demanded sex in exchange for favours, such as certification to work in a given diocese.

In extreme instances, the priests had made nuns pregnant and then encouraged them to have abortions.

The US article was based on five documents, which senior women from religious orders and priests have presented to the Vatican over the past decade. They describe a particularly bad situation in Africa. In a continent devastated by Aids, nuns, along with early adolescent girls, are perceived by some as safe sexual targets. The reports said that the church authorities had done little to tackle the problem.

The Vatican reports cited countless cases of nuns forced to have sex with priests. Some were obliged to take the pill, others became pregnant and were encouraged to have abortions. In one case in which an African sister was forced to have an abortion, she died during the operation and her aggressor led the funeral mass. Another case involved 29 sisters from the same congregation who all became pregnant to priests in the diocese.

Source: The Independent

Wow -- people abusing position of religious power and authority to get sexual favors... who could ever have expected that to happen? Well, just about anyone with even a causal familiarity with the history of people holding religious power and authority... especially men holding religious power and authority over women.

To be fair, this isn't something limited to just religious contexts -- we see similar problems in other institutions as well. It's just that when we see people with political or corporate power abusing their positions to get sexual favors, they aren't also typically preaching to others the evils of sex and abortion.

And as if all the abuse, rape, and hypocrisy weren't bad enough, it appears that high-level Vatican leaders worked to suppress the reports of what's been happening in order to save the public image of their church. Gee, sound familiar?

When [Sister Marie McDonald, mother superior of the Missionaries of Our Lady of Africa] addressed bishops on the problem, many of them felt it was disloyal of the sisters to send reports.

"However, the sisters claim they have done so time and time again. Sometimes they were not well received. In some instances they are blamed for what happened. Even when they are listened to sympathetically nothing much seems to be done" One of the most tragic elements that emerges is the fate of the victims. While the offending priests are usually moved or sent away for studies, the women are normally chased out of their religious orders, they are then either to scared to return to their families or are rejected by them. they often finished up as outcasts, or, in a cruel twist of irony, as prostitutes, making a meagre living from an act they had vowed never to do.

Every institution has "bad apples," and when an institution grows large and diverse enough, the number of such "bad apples" will also grow rather large. Given the size of the Catholic Church, it would be surprising if there weren't at least a few incidents like these happening from time to time. So it would be wrong to hold the Vatican and the church itself to be blameworthy... until we read about the leadership's reactions.

A morally and ethically responsible leadership would act to stop such abuses and crimes. It would take steps to prevent them from happening again, at least to the extent possible. Instead, the leadership acted to stop such abuses from becoming public knowledge. They blamed the victims, hid reports, moved around the rapists, and drove off the women. Sound familiar? It should -- that's much how the Vatican and church leaders reacted when told about priests raping children.

Coincidence? I don't think so. This is a pattern of behavior that derives directly from what the institution and its leaders truly value. It tells us what's really going on in the halls of power. Put most simply, though, it tells us that the Vatican should not be treated as holding any sort of moral, political, or social authority whatsoever. It's too corrupt, venal, and concerned with preserving its own power to care about the people being harmed.

Comments
March 23, 2011 at 11:10 pm
(1) Karen the ex-Catholic atheist says:

Sigh. Why am I not surprised.

I left the church as an adult, some three decades ago. I still think about it frequently. I’m puzzled as to why some enterprising nun hasn’t slipped a knife into a priest’s back while being raped or forced into sexual favors in order to continue her lifework. (I attended 12 years of Catholic school; nuns are sacrosanct to me.) I’m puzzled as to why the parking lot at my local Catholic church still spills over into my nearby grocery store lot. (I don’t try to shop for groceries on Sunday morning.) WHAT IS IT WITH YOU CATHOLIC PEOPLE!!!! CAN’T YOU SEE YOUR WHOLE CHURCH IS RUN BY EVIL SUBHUMANS????? Sorry for the shouting, but I can’t help it.

July 26, 2011 at 8:08 pm
(2) spike says:

Your shouting is understandable. I used to think that things would change under Wojtyla, but I was wrong. Like you, I just walked away [and never looked back].

August 15, 2011 at 11:50 am
(3) Tracey, formerly married to a former priest says:

don’t be sorry for shouting, it needs to be shouted from the roof tops!

August 20, 2011 at 12:05 pm
(4) sal says:

I used to have a roommate..we were both Catholics..she was a great friend however, practically every night..we could expect her in the rapturous embrace if a new fella out in the parking lot..half the dormitory would be in the common room making bets…I made my voice heard..just because she was so giving with
her body, didn’t make me a vessel for the same!

March 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm
(5) Richard Polich says:

I think that the conclusion made by Mr. Kline is the correct one. The sexual conduct by the Cathloic Church has invalidated any claim as to moral authority on any subject. It is more concerned with appearances than of reality and it is willing to suppress injustice to keep up appearances.

Richard Sipes, an expriest and religious writer, said decades ago that HALF of all priests in America are NOT in their vows AT ANY TIME. He mentioned in an E-mail to me that a Vatican official verified this to him. I was surprised in that this greatly surpassed my expectations.

I hope that the civilian authorities in all countries bring those responsible to account, even if it bankrupts the Cathloic Church!

July 13, 2011 at 9:35 pm
(6) mike b says:

I with you on this one bro. They need to really crack down on those clowns.

March 25, 2011 at 9:10 pm
(7) Tom Edgar says:

I have a friend, originally from Yugoslavia. He recounted to me that in 1937 when he was a young teenager, on a school (Catholic) outing, he and several other boys saw their Priest and a Nun under a bush copulating.

In the the thirties and forties in Brisbane’s tolerated brothels
the major up market brothel regularly had Priests and a Bishop as clients. I have personally seen one Priest, without dog collar, escorting a pretty girl into a restaurant, he took great pains to avoid my recognition. I never said anything, when meeting him later. I’m not a Catholic. None of my business.

You can condemn for hypocrisy, but they are still men and women, and if normal, the sexual urges are still there.

April 7, 2011 at 1:30 am
(8) Ashley a Catholic says:

Seriously?! I am SO tired of people hating on the Catholic church. Yes, there just may be priests and nuns out there commiting these evil acts, BUT they are sinful humans, just like everyone else. Just because some members of the faith have messed up does not mean that the religion has. Do you not wonder why protestant preachers are not held as accountable for THIER wrong doings? Hmm..no other religion is a unified and connected like the Catholic faith. Do protestant churches have sinful people doing evil acts too? oh heck yes. We are all the same, just poor sinners. So before judging the Catholic religion, ask yourself are you judging the people’s acts or the religion itself. I myself have struggled with the being a catholic, but I prayed and God has answered my prayers. I have been to all different types of churches. yeah they would get me all hyped up on Sunday but, by the middle of the week I was left feeling empty and in need of a ‘recharge’. What church has been around since Christ himself? THE CATHOLIC CHURCH(If you don’t believe me, look it up).I now feel whole and can say with an honest heart, that I am so thankful and proud to be a Catholic. I will pray for all the people who have misunderstood what it means to be Catholic. and what the Catholic church stands for. God Bless!

April 7, 2011 at 8:51 am
(9) Austin Cline says:

Seriously?! I am SO tired of people hating on the Catholic church.

But not tired of the church aiding and abetting the abuse of women and children?

Yes, there just may be priests and nuns out there commiting these evil acts, BUT they are sinful humans, just like everyone else.

What about those actively covering up such crimes? What about those telling the victims that it was their fault they were raped?

Just because some members of the faith have messed up does not mean that the religion has.

True. But it does have implications for the institutions they are running.

Do you not wonder why protestant preachers are not held as accountable for THIER wrong doings?

What makes you think they aren’t? I’ve certainly written about them a number of times.

Hmm..no other religion is a unified and connected like the Catholic faith.

And that institutional quality comes with consequences.

What church has been around since Christ himself? THE CATHOLIC CHURCH(If you don’t believe me, look it up).

You might want to look up the Orthodox Church.

April 15, 2011 at 5:38 pm
(10) Bob says:

Other churches have also had instances of sexual abuse. One of the protestant churches in England ( I can’t recall which) begged people to stop suing them as they were going broke paying damages. There have been instances of child abuse in the Salvation Army and in secular institutions caring for children.

The Catholic Church is not alone but is the most prominent. If the Catholic Church wants the sort of respect you show it has to earn it. You might be tired of criticism but as a grass roots member you have the responsibility of cleaning up your church.

Just in the last couple of weeks I read that the Church paid out $166m to hundreds of victims in the north west US. That is a huge amount of money in anyone’s language. Part of the article said that errant priests were sent there to get them away from the denser areas of population.

Take your blinkers off.

July 13, 2011 at 9:23 pm
(11) netbooks under 200 says:

The catholic church is infested with demons. This is evident by the activities from the past and present. No other church has the amount of sin the the catholic church has. Of course there are some good points about it but for the most part it is severely corrupt.

July 22, 2011 at 5:40 pm
(12) Zack says:

I don’t know how in the world you can pretend to know such a thing.

As a former Southern Baptist myself, I can tell you that they are working day and night to keep up with the Catholics in the sexual abuse and hypocrisy departments.

August 16, 2011 at 12:27 am
(13) Nicole says:

So you’re pissed off that people hate on the christian church about the paedophiles and rapists in their midst and the church covering it up to maintain their reputation. But we’re COMPLETELY COOL with calling gays paedophiles and rapists because they aren’t? Is that what you’re saying?

October 19, 2011 at 7:46 am
(14) elainepris says:

Come on now more excuses for the Church. They are supposed to preach the word of god so that means that their god does not mind seeing children abused. MONEY<MONEY and more money that is what it is about. Men signed up to scots movements just for abuse and so do the priests.

April 15, 2011 at 7:20 pm
(15) Joan says:

Priests are supposed to be a cut above the average person. They represent the church. They are not just average sinful persons on the street. If the Catholic Church cannot pick representatives better than that, what is to think of the church? Add to that the coverups and …

April 16, 2011 at 8:00 pm
(16) mrquiry says:

Astounding? Shocking? Earth shaking? NOT HARDLY!

Actually, not much new at all. We’ve seen it all on the news and read it all in the papers. Innumerable reports and magazine articles have reiterated, restated, and reported this sleaze until it gives the reader a headache to see it again.

There ain’t no life left in this old horse, so let’s stop kicking it.

Apparently the faithful don’t care. They continue to support these so called “religious institutions”.

The rest of us seem powerless to turn the tide of religious over indulgence and priest supporting superstition. Logic seems to have been tossed out the window.

Guess I’m feeling a little defeatist attitude. I don’t want to play anymore. Think I’ll just pick up my toys and go home.

Good luck to you Austin old man. You’ve got more patience with this than I do.

October 19, 2011 at 7:51 am
(17) elainepris says:

mrquiry and Mr.Kline,thank you. We must haveaction b y the Authorities, not more talk and yet more talk. We all know this is evil,lets stop it now.

April 16, 2011 at 11:13 pm
(18) Nashka says:

When I was 13, I had a summer job cleaning a catholic school and church (Our Lady of Victory). While picking up trash around the convent, i found several used condoms in the bushes directly below the rooms were the nuns lived. At that time in my life i tried to explain away the reason the condoms where at this location. Maybe some reason other than the most obvious one that confronted me at that time. I did not want to believe what I knew to be true. Ignorant little 13 year old that I was. Each time I recall this memory, (over the last 36 years) I am 100% sure the nuns where involved.

August 31, 2011 at 5:41 pm
(19) DKT says:

One should not let pass what happens there.

August 14, 2011 at 1:34 pm
(20) Drew says:

Ya know, I haven’t seen/heard of any Atheist preists force nuns into having sex lately. Hm..

August 31, 2011 at 5:38 pm
(21) DKT says:

They should also be punished and not the protection of the church are.

August 31, 2011 at 5:39 pm
(22) DKT says:

One should not let pass what happens there.
Even if it is not the church.

September 7, 2011 at 11:46 am
(23) smelly urine says:

Why is everyone surprise with this? That has nothing to do with where is person working, it has to do with specific person. There will always be sick and disturbed people, even in church…

December 14, 2011 at 2:55 pm
(24) grace says:

its not about been catholic or non catholic but unltimatley the breech of faith on believe on people ,what is the meaning of god for these people,when they preach others for good.
but ultimatley one has to fight the evil inside even if they claim to be the nearest of god as we all believe.

March 29, 2012 at 6:11 pm
(25) Ex Sister Esther Henderson says:

I can attest to the truth of this. I was a young nun of 19 and had just made my first vows. I was in Italy, In the big Mother House/Novitiate in Rome there was a grandiose room called “La sala dei Cardinali” (The Cardinal’s Salon). Nobody seemed to know what was the purpose of the room, nobody spoke about it. I now suppose it was to receive visiting church dignitaries…who were visiting for…’certain reasons” In the morning I became “a bride of christ” making the vows of Chastity, Obedience and Povery…in the evening I was made “a bride of the church” by being raped by a cardinal.
I now suppose that the vow of Chastity was to make me solely available to the clergy. The vow of Obedience..so I could not refuse and Poverty so I would have no means of escape. This was not the first instance. Because of my own experience with this man I have reason to believe that the then living founder of that Order availed himself frequently of the fresh young girls in the Novitiate…the majority of whom were from poor pesant families with little education , many of whom, from what they wrote when the founder died, had been lured into convent life with promises of education and being held in esteem by the rest of the populace. They had been groomed so well that they actually believed that to be “touched” by the founder would make them holy. Than ‘founder’ was a friend of several Popes. He received many privileges from the Vatican including money to build churches and religious houses for both men and women. He died in 1972. Today he is lying in state, embalmed, in a glass coffin for all to see and venerate…he is a Blessed and soon to be a Saint of the “Holy Roman Catholic Church”. Imagine praying to a paedophile and a defiler of young virgins!

May 15, 2012 at 1:59 pm
(26) Carson says:

Tom Edgar – You are right, most priests and nuns are normal human beings with normal sexual urges.

But that is not what this article is about. This article is about systematic rape. Rape is not sex, rape is violence. A man who enjoys raping a woman is not a normal human being, with normal human urges.

The act of making love or even fucking casually cannot be compared to rape. So your friend saw a priest and nun doing it in the bushes…but if the nun was willing, there was no rape and she was not being victimized.

These women are being victimized first by priests, then by the Church, and then for men like you who think that rape is a “normal urge” and excuse it.

May 28, 2012 at 12:25 am
(27) doby says:

has anyone but me clicked the source link for this witch hunt? i mean considering the address this “blog” is held at, i gave you a chance anyway. then i clicked the source link. oh the internet.

on a higher level, i dont believe in the boogy man, so i dont check under my bed or in my closet for him.

how retarded to be so threatened by something you dont believe in.

June 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm
(28) SawItFirstHand says:

This is hardly a witch hunt. I grew up in Africa and saw pregnant nuns. Nuns were and still are sexually abused and raped by priests who take celibacy vows but are unable to keep them. The Catholic Church refuses to acknowledge crimes within the Church and yes, these are “man on woman” crimes. This type of corruption along with the widespread abuse of children has made me ashamed to even be a former Catholic.

August 13, 2012 at 11:18 pm
(29) wilfred says:

The Catholic church is the fulfillment of the Apostasy. From it’s early beginnings it has accumulated demonic crimes to humanity. Don’t be blind: http://www.truthbeknown.com/victims.htm

November 14, 2012 at 4:19 am
(30) Sama Thomas Achoa says:

I have heard you all condemning the catholic church, who ever told all of you that the catholic church was a society of saints?
Now the you people are condemning and snaching your theths does that solve the problem, or have you people find a holy socity where ever you are?
I beg you guys when ever you find a holy society just let me know so that i can join you people there.
The bible tells us that all have sin and are not worthy of the kingdom of God but if they tried just the least to get away from sin then they will enter into his kingdom, it also goes further to tell us that we shouldn’t judge for judgement is of God but you guys have taken the possition of God and have already metted judgement on others may God have mercy on you all.
If you guys fail in your quest to find a holy society then you people should know that you guys are the problems of our society.
Sama Thomas Achoa

November 14, 2012 at 1:47 pm
(31) Austin Cline says:

I have heard you all condemning the catholic church, who ever told all of you that the catholic church was a society of saints?

And how does this invalidate or answer the criticisms? Or are you just trying to deflect attention away from those criticisms?

November 27, 2012 at 11:29 am
(32) nashka says:

Sama Thomas Achoa – The bible tells us – BLAH BLAH BLAH!
The bible is its own worst enemy.
The bible tells us more than enough to realize it is fiction.

November 29, 2012 at 6:02 am
(33) Grandpa In The East says:

To Sama Thomas Achoa,

You “people” can have the “Kingdom Of God.” Just keep it to yourself, please.

Grandpa

January 15, 2013 at 2:20 pm
(34) R-M-H says:

Ashley, a Catholic says, “…Do protestant churches have sinful people doing evil acts too? oh heck yes…”

So what? Does that in any way change the fact that the Catholic church is one of the most evil, abusive and horrible organizations in the history of humanity?

If Jesus Christ ever came back and saw what was being done in his name , he would weep tears of the ugliest shame ever.

February 1, 2013 at 12:40 am
(35) HAl says:

Religion is nothing but brainwashing and man made BS period! the world would be a better place with out mindless religions !

February 27, 2013 at 8:28 pm
(36) samuel ortiz says:

Catholics just like christians and or buddhists will make mistakes. Never judge a man or woman because the last judge will be God.he has the last word.we should focus more on the bible then on men sinning.God is not a religion its supposed to be a daily relationship with him. once we realize that theres a God and theres a devil ,our minds are not gonna be on worldly music sex drugs but on the day Jesus destroyed satan in the day he revived reminding us who has the more power beyond what a man can do. Its a spiritual battle u got to be spiritually strong if u want to survive call and he’ll shall answer Just by sayong Jesus the demons run away….

March 12, 2013 at 9:23 am
(37) bigshot says:

The Catholic church is not real, its an imaginary church, the things that go on inside it’s walls benefit the men that run their organization raping boys raping nuns those r just some of the troubles facing the Catholic church they truly hate God whom they say they serve. In order to serve God u must be from God the Catholic church is from men God made man,then man made his on gods then man bowed down an worship them.

March 14, 2013 at 3:07 am
(38) doubting thomas says:

no wonder why some seminarians in the philippines turn into maniacs>>>their role models are their own spiritual advisers….hoh hoh

March 22, 2013 at 1:24 am
(39) Marilyn says:

I understand the frustrations with the priests, but let us remember they are men not God. Who do you serve when you attend Church, God or men? This kind of thing happens in all demoninations. Please pray about it and return home to the Catholic Church where the real presence of Jesus Christ can be found.

June 5, 2013 at 12:03 pm
(40) Ryan Jeffers says:

This kid of conduct from priests doesn’t surprise me. Still I don’t condemn the whole priesthood or religious life because there are many who don’t condone this behavior, and only now are able to really stand up and speak out. I recently read on line about a former seminary rector I had Henry Willenborg, (I now name, names,) who fathered two children with two different women-one of whom he tried to talk into having an abortion. I used to thin Ireland was very devoutly Catholic, but the Magdalen laundries, and other institutions they ran said otherwise. Some priests and religious I do believe took great risks helping women escape, or just hid them so they would never get taken there. I believe rape of nuns went on in those places too. I would not be surprised if some women entered convents because father raped them, and threatened them with the laundries if they didn’t become nuns. I wonder how many mother superiors were told by priests, “I get to help myself to any nun here or I’ll just rape you,” and with his power he could do it.

Ashamed as this makes me to be Catholic sometimes I won’t leave because this is my church, and if those priests are going to blacken the priesthood like then, then I say, “you get out!”

June 26, 2013 at 10:22 am
(41) edwapa says:

how can anybody defend this church?? abusing the authority over nuns and alter boys is sick enough but it is multiplied 100x when it is covered up by the institution itself. i think the church would gain respect if it acknowledged and punished the priests and willfully supported the victims, but it doesn’t. i guess it relies on the blind to defend it. or does it rely on this mythical hell to dish out the punishment (since maybe only their god can do the judging).

August 24, 2013 at 1:01 am
(42) Christa says:

That is just disgusting. I mean really they are suppose to be doing God’s work and set moral examples. I am not atheist sorry but I just read that this was a secret problem in the church. They are people non-the-less and are really just behaving just disgraceful. Representing God, they are held to a high standard on how to behave. There is no excuse for this type of immoral behavior. I am not in the religious order and I would not dare act like that.

August 24, 2013 at 1:11 am
(43) Christa says:

That is really disgusting. They have no idea how sinful that is in the eyes of God. He will not tolerate that behavior if they are representing the teachings of God. They need to repent and maybe get married if they can’t do what is right. This type of immoral behavior is really just sad and just really immoral. I couldn’t imagine a priest with a woman. They are suppose to be doing the Lord’s work. Get married for Christ sake and stop being an imposter priest to those who behave in this manner.

September 3, 2013 at 8:11 pm
(44) kid. says:

Is everyone in the comments an atheist. The pope didn’t rape somone, jesus didn’t rape anyone so don’t blame it on the whole catholic church blame it on the people who did the act. I really hate those genralizations.

September 12, 2013 at 9:47 am
(45) Frank says:

I have studied in catholic schools and what I saw there caused me to think about religion in totality. When the people you are entrusted to educate you just want to abuse you something is wrong with this value system.

I read about Islam and found among other things a simple rule. What can not be applied to all people is wrong. If we all decide to be good nuns and priests that supposedly abstain from conjugation who will keep the human race alive.

November 26, 2013 at 11:52 pm
(46) PAM says:

WELL THE WHOLE CHURCH IS A MURDERING CHILD MOLESTING NUN RAPING BAD APPLE TO THE CORE WHY WOULD WE CONTINUE TO KEEP PUTTING UP WITH IT

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