VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican acknowledged
Tuesday a damning report that
some priests and missionaries were forcing nuns to have sex with them, and were in some
cases committing rape and forcing the victims to have abortions.
Some nuns were forced to take the contraceptive pill, the report cited in the Rome la Repubblica daily said.
The Vatican said the issue was restricted
to a certain geographical area but the report cited cases in 23 countries,
including the United States, Brazil, the Philippines, India, Ireland and Italy.
A Vatican statement said ``in relation
to the news of cases of sexual abuse against nuns committed by priests
and missionaries, Chief Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls had the following announcement:
``The problem is known about and is restricted to a certain geographical area.
``The Holy See is dealing with the issue
in collaboration with bishops, the Union of Superiors General
(grouping of heads of male religious orders) and the International Union of Superiors General (heads of
female religious orders.''
While the Vatican did not name the geographical
area, the report said most incidents of sexual abuse against
nuns occurred in Africa where the nuns were identified as ``safe'' following the onset of the HIV and AIDS
viruses devastating the continent.
Nuns Forced To Abort
Charges made in the report, signed with
names and surnames, were made known to Church authorities on
several occasions throughout the1990s, the article by la Repubblica's respected Vatican correspondent
Marco Politi said.
The author of the report was nun and physician
Maura O'Donohue, who presented it to the head of the Vatican's
Congregation for Holy Orders, Cardinal Martinez Somalo, in February 1995.
He ordered a working group from the Congregation
to study the problem with O'Donohue, who was AIDS
coordinator for Cafod, the London-based Roman Catholic Fund for Overseas Development.
O'Donohue made specific reference to certain
cases, one in which a priest forced a nun to have an abortion,
after which she died. He then officiated at her requiem mass.
In reference to Africa, her report said:
``It is impossible (there) for a woman or an adolescent to refuse a man,
especially an older man and in particular a priest.''
In Africa, certain priests sought out nuns ``for fear of contracting AIDS with prostitutes.''
``There are cases in which priests make
nuns take the pill, ...and there was one case of
20 nuns in one religious community being pregnant at the same time,'' the article cited the report as saying.
A mother superior was continually ignored
by the local bishop when she complained that priests in the diocese
had made 29 of her nuns pregnant. The bishop relieved her of her duties, the report said without
identifying the diocese.
The charges first appeared in the Kansas
City-based National Catholic Reporter weekly on March 16
and on a small Italian religious news agency Adista, which also publishes weekly.
In 1998, Marie McDonald, mother superior
of the Missionaries of Our Lady of Africa, presented her report
on ''sexual abuse and rape committed by priests and bishops.''
The Vatican is monitoring the situation,
making sure bishops were aware
of the phenomenon, but no direct action has been taken, the article said.
Navarro-Valls said in his statement: ``We
are working on two fronts,
training of people and finding a solution to individual cases.
``Some negative cases cannot let us forget
the often heroic faith expressed by the large majority of those men
and women in religious orders and of the clergy.''
La Repubblica went on to quote McDonald
as saying: ``As far as I know, no inspections have taken place...
There are some nuns who become financially dependent on priests, who can then ask for sexual favors in return.''
``Then there is the conspiracy of silence
which makes the problem worse.
Only if we confront this together, will we be able to find a solution,'' she said.
Hey, as always, BartCop has the answer:
Abandon that celibacy horseshit!
Let the priests get married so they can have an outlet for the beast!