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Pope cites new book on nun abuse in warning to superiors

December 11, 2021

Pope Francis on Saturday drew attention to a problem that the Vatican has long sought to downplay: the abuses of power by mother superiors against nuns who, because of their vows of obedience, have little recourse but to obey. During an audience with members of the Vatican’s congregation for religious orders, Francis cited a new investigative expose of the problem written by a reporter for the Holy See’s media, Salvatore Cernuzio. Francis noted that the book, “Veil of Silence: Abuse, Violence, Frustrations in Female Religious Life,” doesn’t detail “striking” cases of violence and abuse “but rather the everyday abuses that harm the strength of the vocation.” The book, published in Italy last month, contains 11 cases of current or former religious sisters who suffered abuses at the hands of their superiors.

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