9 March 2019
No more silence, No more cover-ups and No more in-action.
The behaviour of the Vatican and the hierarchy towards women religious has been shocking. They have sanctioned the spiritual and sexual abuse (including rape, prostitution and forced abortions) of women religious in many countries and on every continent for over 20 years and probably much longer. Their response has been silence, cover-up and in-action. “Any criminal organization would not have done worse” said Sr Véronique Margron OP, President of the French Conference of Men and Women Religious (CORREF). It is up to the people to direct our church back to the message of Christ.
- In 1994 Sr Maura O’Donoghue presented a detailed report to the Vatican based on 6 years experience in 23 countries and 5 continents.
- In 1998 Sr Marie McDonald presented another report on the abuse of religious women by priests
- In 2001 the National Catholic Reporter reported on this
- Also in 2001 the European Parliament wrote to the Vatican calling for action to be taken about the sexual abuse of religious sisters by priests.
But all to no avail. Just more silence, more cover-ups and more in-action. But in recent years courageous women who have spoken out despite the pressure to remain silent have highlighted this disgraceful behaviour:
- At a 2018 conference on "Overcoming Silence — Women's Voices in the Abuse Crisis" several women religious spoke out in public
- In March 2019 a documentary "The Abuse of Female Religious, the other scandal of the church" was shown on French and German TV ARTE
It is a horrifying litany of spiritual and sexual abuse against women religious by men who claimed to be servants of Christ but were in fact servants of lust and power. There must be No more silence, No more cover-ups and No more in-action. The people of the church demand repentance and justice.
Colm Holmes Marianne Duddy-Burke, USA,
Chair, We Are Church International Media, We Are Church International
M +353 86 606 3636 M +1 617 669 7810
We Are Church International (WAC-I) founded in Rome in 1996, is a global coalition of national church reform groups. It is committed to the renewal of the Roman Catholic Church based on the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the theological spirit developed from it.