Vatican clarified his comments about abuse of nuns.
5 publicly acknowledged for the first time the sexual abuse of nuns by priests and bishops, the latest admission in a crisis that is enveloping the Catholic Church. And yet church authorities have rarely addressed the issue publicly.
"It is true. there have been priests and even bishops who have done this". It's not a thing that from the moment in which you realize it, it's over. "We saw it as our only hope", the mothers of the girls, Andrea Sanchez and Jessica Atehortua, told Khaleej Times in an interview.
"Should we do something more? Yes". Is there the will? Yes.
"But when he became Pope, the first thing (he said was) bring me this from the archives and he began", Pope Francis said.
For years, cases of abuse of women in the church have always been known.
In a statement in November, the International Union of Superiors General (UISG)-an organization that represents female Catholic religious orders around the world-said they stood by the women and men who have reported their abuse.
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An article written by Lucetta Scaraffia in February's edition of Women Church World, a women's magazine of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romono, entitled "Without any touching", argues that such abuse has remained hidden within the Catholic Church, due to the "amgibuious" role of women.
Francis noted that it was the "first time that a pope visited the Arabian peninsula" and that "providence wanted it to be a pope called Francis, 800 years after the visit of St Francis of Assisi to Sultan al-Malik al-Kamil". 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. We'll shed light on the newest scandal for the Catholic Church. The pope added the mistreatment of nuns is part of a larger issue of women being treated as "second-class citizens".
Francis mentioned the case of one order of nuns in particular, in France, in which his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, had tried to take action but was thwarted by Vatican insiders.
"There are cases, usually in new congregations and in some regions more than others. We are working on it." the Pope said.
In a separate case in India past year, a bishop was arrested over allegations that he raped a nun 13 times between 2014 and 2016. The bishop, Franco Mulakkal, was subsequently arrested and faces prosecution.
Last year, the French website La Parisien reported the case of a former nun who was abused and raped by her parish priest between 2010 and 2011.
As for the church's efforts to route out abuse, Francis urged the faithful to pray that the church is successful in doing so.