What are the ranks of Catholic nuns

Pope admits abuse of nuns in Catholic Church

The Catholic Church is in deep crisis over child abuse scandals. Now the Pope also speaks of sexual violence against nuns. There is even talk of women as "slaves" to clerics.

(dpa) Pope Francis has admitted sexual abuse of nuns in the Catholic Church. "It's true, it's a problem," he said on the return flight from Abu Dhabi to Rome on Tuesday. “I know that priests and also bishops did that. And I think it is still being done, "he said when asked what the Vatican wanted to do against the sexual abuse of religious sisters. It affects some cultures or religious communities more than others. "It's not something that everyone is doing."

The Vatican has been working on the problem for a long time, the Pope said. Some women's faith communities have been dissolved, some clerics have been "suspended" and "sent away". He added: «Do we have to do more (against the problem)? Yes. Do we want to do more? Yes."

"Sexual slavery" by clerics

He addressed a case of a past community in which women were treated "like slaves". It went as far as "sexual slavery" by clerics and the founder of the community, so Francis. The then Pope Benedict was "very courageous" and, after strong opposition, dissolved this community immediately after taking office. At the press conference on the plane, the Pope did not say which community he was referring to.

Abuse of women is a general problem. "The woman is second class," said Francis. “It's a cultural problem. (...) There are countries where the abuse of women goes as far as the murder of women. "

Summit on child abuse

The Catholic Church is currently under heavy pressure due to abuse scandals in several countries, including the abuse of children. At the end of February the Pope convened a summit in the Vatican on the subject. The presidents of the Bishops' Conferences from all over the world are to take part. However, the meeting does not deal with the abuse of women in the Church.

Only recently, the women's magazine of the Vatican newspaper «L'Osservatore Romano» criticized that the Church was still ignoring this problem. Abuse generally has a lot to do with the structure of the church in which the clergy are in power.

The International Association of Superiors General, which represents 500,000 religious sisters around the world, recently lamented a “culture of silence”. She encouraged women in religious communities to report any abuse.