For the first time today, the head of Vatican, Pope Francis, has publicly acknowledged that sexual assault and rape are happening inside the Catholic Church.
"There have been priests and also bishops who have done that, and I believe that it may still be being done", Francis said of the sexual assault of nuns.
Associated Press: "After decades of silence, nuns talk about abuse by priests" - "The nun no longer goes to confession regularly, after an Italian priest forced himself on her while she was at her most vulnerable: recounting her sins to him in a university classroom almost 20 years ago". The pope's comments come two weeks before he hosts a gathering of bishops to craft a global response to the long-running scandal of paedophile priests who have targeted children and the church superiors who have covered up their crimes.
File image of Pope Francis. He said he was sure the child would have a bright future and added: "Dare I say: "poor husband!"
"At the time, the sister only told her provincial superior and her spiritual director, silenced by the Catholic Church's culture of secrecy, her vows of obedience and her own fear, repulsion and shame".
"When the Holy Father, referring to the dissolution of a Congregation, spoke of 'sexual slavery, ' he meant 'manipulation, ' a form of abuse of power which is reflected also in sexual abuse", said Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti, according to CNN.
We'll shed light on the newest scandal for the Catholic Church.
The official, the Reverend Hermann Geissler, chief of staff in the Vatican's doctrinal office, denied the allegation, the Vatican said.
Francis said the sisters had been reduced to "sexual slavery" at the hands of the Reverend Marie-Dominique Philippe and other priests. "There were so many people!" he said.
Francis said the Vatican has "suspended some clerics, sent them away for this" and "dissolved" some orders of nuns "that were very tied up in this, a corruption".
"He was unable to control himself... he had a split personality". "I pretended it didn't happen".
More than half a million nuns are represented by the group around the world. It said Pope Francis "considered this pope's holiness of life, witnessed to by his works and words" and took into account "the great influence of his apostolic ministry for the Church throughout the whole world".
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