In February, Pope Francis acknowledged a longstanding dirty secret in the Roman Catholic Church — the sexual abuse of nuns by priests.
It’s an issue that had long been kept under wraps, but in the #MeToo era, a #NunsToo movement has emerged, and now sexual abuse is more widely discussed.
The Vatican’s wall of silence was first broken in Women Church World, a supplement of the official Vatican daily, L’Osservatore Romano. An article in the February issue by editor Lucetta Scaraffia — a history professor, mother and feminist — blamed abuse of women and minors on the clerical culture of the all-powerful priesthood. The piece was based on hundreds of stories she heard from nuns.
It’s very hard for a nun to report she has been raped by a priest, says Scaraffia, because of the mindset that, in sex, women can always say no.
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