"St. Peter's Basilica Early Morning" by Andreas Tille / CC BY-SA 4.0

Magazine report is aimed at silencing nuns on sex abuse, says Vatican critic

Aug 5, 2020

By Claire Giangravé

An article in a Jesuit magazine describing alleged exploitation of nuns in Catholic convents has been criticized as an attempt to silence members of women’s religious orders who have begun to speak out against sexual abuse by priests.

“I think there is a possibility of a revolt of religious sisters,” said Lucetta Scaraffia, the former head of the Vatican magazine Donne, Chiesa, Mondo (Women, Church, World), adding that many nuns she has heard from “are furious.”

Published Aug. 1 in La Civiltà Cattolica (Catholic Society), the article raised concerns about the “lack of attention that abuse within female congregations has garnered,” particularly overreach by some orders’ mothers superior.

Superiors were said to enjoy better health care services and opportunities for vacations, while rank-and-file nuns are denied access to eye doctors or dentists, some sisters told the magazine. Other nuns reported not even being able to enjoy a walk outside without asking for permission.

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