Global Catholic nuns urge reporting of sex abuse to police

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Source: Associated Press

By NICOLE WINFIELD

ROME (AP) — The Catholic Church’s global organization of nuns has denounced the “culture of silence and secrecy” surrounding sexual abuse in the church and is urging sisters who have been abused to report the crimes to police and their superiors.

The International Union of Superiors General, which represents more than 500,000 sisters worldwide, vowed to help nuns who have been abused to find the courage to report it, and pledged to help victims heal and seek justice.

The statement, issued on the eve of the U.N.-designated International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, was the first from the Rome-based UISG since the abuse scandal erupted anew this year and as the sexual abuse of adult nuns by clergymen has also come to light. The Associated Press reported earlier this year that the Vatican has known for decades about the problem of priests and bishops preying on nuns, but has done next to nothing to stop it.

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