Dialogue with Islam key for peace - pope

Dialogue with Islam key for peace - pope

Pope Francis further admitted the mistreatment of women was a "cultural problem" and allegations about nuns being abused were being individually investigated.

Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, reflected on his Journey to the United Arab Emirates, at his General Audience on Wednesday.

Pope Francis, who canonised Paul VI in October 2018, approved the optional memorial in light of "the petitions and desires of the people of God", said the decree, signed by Cardinal Robert Sarah and Archbishop Arthur Roche, the congregation's prefect and secretary, respectively.

Francis, however, asserted that the Catholic church has been taking measures to combat the abuse of nuns for years. "And I think that it's continuing because it's not like once you realize it that it stops".

Reporting by The Associated Press and other news media, as well as the reckoning demanded by the #MeToo movement, has brought the issue of sexual violence against nuns to the fore, such that #Nunstoo has been trending in recent days.

Pope Francis (R) leads mass for an estimated 170,000 Catholics at an Abu Dhabi sports stadium on February 5, 2019. Last week, even the women's magazine of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reported on nuns having abortions or giving birth to children fathered by priests or bishops.

The Vatican, for example, launched an investigation past year into a small religious order in Chile after sisters reported some of their fellow nuns had been thrown out of the congregation after they brought their complaints of abuse by priests to their mother superior.

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Speaking to reporters while on a historic tour of the Middle East on Tuesday, the pontiff admitted that the Church had an issue, the roots of which lie in "seeing women as second class". He said Benedict acted "because a certain slavery of women had crept in, slavery to the point of sexual slavery on the part of clergy or the founder".

Studies and investigative reports dating back to the 1990s revealed that nuns have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of male clergy in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America, with African clergy in particular targeting nuns in order to avoid HIV transmission from prostitutes. The thing goes forward like this.

"His gestures became more and more inappropriate", she said, adding: "But he kept going... until the day he raped me".

The congregation of nuns dissolved under Benedict was the Sisters Mariales d'Israel, a spokesman for the parent order said.

Similar cases have also been reported in India, where a bishop was arrested past year over allegations he raped a nun 13 times between 2014 and 2016. "I want it to go forward".

"He was unable to control himself... he had a split personality".

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