Former nun calls out the Vatican on child abuse failure

A summit is taking place in the Vatican and its focus is on the church's approach to dealing with child abuse. However, one ex-nun is criticizing them for the way the summit is ignoring the church's endemic abuse of women.

Daria Sukharchuk
Daria Sukharchuk NewsMavens, Central & Eastern Europe
Former nun calls out the Vatican on child abuse failure - NewsMavens
Nun, PixaBay

Why this story matters:

According to many experts, with its strict hierarchy and complete ban on sexuality, the  Catholic church is a ripe breeding ground for abuse. Many priests who begin their careers early never get to explore their sexuality as adults, and often can't even understand how much harm they cause.

According to a psychotherapist interviewed by the German magazine Cicero, many of those priests' sexuality never developed into those of adult men, and they don't see a clear boundary between themselves and the children.

The abuse of women in the church is far less talked about, but it stems from a common root: the fact that women and children are seen as lesser beings by the clergy, and that many Catholic priests were never, in any way, educated about sexuality. 

Details from the story:

  • Doris Wagner used to be a nun in a German order called "Das Werk", which she entered at the age of 19, straight after high school
  • She comes from a very religious Catholic family with 7 children, so a religious order "felt like a natural thing" to her
  • When she was 25, she went to visit Rome and was raped repeatedly by a priest. It took her months to understand what was going on.
  • Soon after that, she left the order and reported her rapist to the police. They did not accept her report since they couldn't prove the lack of consent, and ignored the power dynamic between a priest and a nun.
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