VATICAN CITY — The Vatican women’s magazine is blaming the drastic drop in the number of nuns worldwide in part on their wretched working conditions and the sexual abuse and abuses of power they suffer at the hands of priests and their own superiors.

“Women Church World” dedicated its February issue to the burnout, trauma and exploitation experienced by religious sisters and how the church is realizing it must change its ways if it wants to attract new vocations.

The magazine published Thursday revealed that Pope Francis had authorized the creation of a special home in Rome for nuns who were kicked out of their orders and all but left on the street, some forced into prostitution to survive.

“There are some really tough cases, in which the superiors withheld the identity documents of the sisters who wanted to leave the convent, or who were kicked out,” the head of the Vatican’s religious orders congregation, Cardinal Joao Braz di Aviz, told the magazine.

“There were also cases of prostitution to be able to provide for themselves,” he said. “These are ex-nuns!”

“We are dealing with people who are wounded, and for whom we have to rebuild trust. We have to change this attitude of rejection, the temptation to ignore these people and say ‘you’re not our problem anymore.””

“All of this must absolutely change,” he said.
The Catholic Church has seen a continuing free fall in the number of nuns around the world, as elderly sisters die and fewer young ones take their place. Vatican statistics from 2016 show the number of sisters was down 10,885 from the previous year to 659,445 globally. Ten years prior, there were 753,400 nuns around the world, meaning the Catholic Church shed nearly 100,000 sisters in the span of a decade.
European nuns regularly fare the worst, Latin American numbers are stable and the numbers are rising in Asia and Africa.

The magazine has made headlines in the past with articles exposing the sexual abuse of nuns by priests and the slave-like conditions sisters are often forced to work under, without contracts and doing menial jobs like cleaning for cardinals.

The drop in their numbers has resulted in the closure of convents around Europe, and the ensuing battle between the remaining sisters and diocesan bishops or the Vatican for control of their assets.

Braz insisted the assets don’t belong to the sisters themselves, but the entire church, and called for a new culture of exchange, so that “five nuns aren’t managing an enormous patrimony” while other orders go broke.

Braz acknowledged the problem of nuns being sexually abused by priests and bishops. But he said in recent times, his office has also heard from nuns who were abused by other nuns — including one congregation with nine cases.

There were also cases of gross abuses of power.

“We’ve had cases, not many thank goodness, of superiors who once they were elected refused to step down. They went around all the rules,” he was quoted as saying. “And in the communities there are sisters who tend to blindly obey, without saying what they think.”

The international umbrella group of nuns has begun speaking out more forcefully about the abuses of nuns and has formed a commission with its male counterpart to take better care of their members.


What’s the world coming to

Nuns doing prostitution.

Priests in gay saunas.

Seminarians having sex on altars.

Mind you, there has always been problems in convents with bullying and bitching.

But is gets more than serious when nuns are being flung out on the street, made homeless and have to resort to prostitution to get by.

Through widespread education and the global media the people now know what’s going on in dioceses, presbyteries and convents.

And it all pretty putrid.



The papal nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Okolo has forwarded complaints against Father Paul Prior to Rome.

Because Father Prior is now in the Jesuit Order the complaint has been sent to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apistolic Life.

The Jesuits promised to set up an investigation into the complaints of four men during January.

The complainants have not yet been informed of the outcome.


I suspect that some of these nuns might have been young women from Third-World countries that Women’s Religious Orders had brought to Europe as ‘Novices’ to work in Nursing Homes.
Around twenty years ago I’d seen such young women at Masses in a London church. They were dressed as novices but used to wear a little bit of make-up. They looked very fit, happy, and most ‘un-nunlike’. I think they were from the Philippines.
The situation, as I heard it from another Mass-goer, was that they worked nearby in a small nursing home for geriatric priests. The Home belonged to a Religious Order of nuns.
The young novices were given evenings off when they could go out in civilian clothes. They had money and were allowed boy-friends. The idea when they’d been in the UK for a few years they’d be fluent in English and have UK residency-rights. So they could go off with a dowry and get married.
That’s how it was done in London. The UK’s immigration regulations prevented the nuns from bringing in workers from overseas but allowed them to bring in novices.
It might have been cheaper than employing local staff- perhaps or perhaps not.
The big benefit must have been in the quality of the staff.
They were obviously all volunteers and must have been specially selected. And I suspect they were all competent nurses already.
But I can also remember newspaper newspaper reports of a scandalous situation in Italy where the RCC owned a great may hospitals and nursing-homes. The reports alleged that there the Orders were bringing in large large numbers of perpetual-novices from Africa and treating them as slave-labour.


It is appalling that nuns would be abusers, that women would treat each other in this horribly, unkind and unnchristian way. Sadly, many of the older sisters would have entered convents at very young ages and subjected to vigorous, severe disciplines. Most would have endured repressive formation programmes. And, as in an all male environment in seminaries and male religious communities women too in their big convent communities would have experienced abuses of all kinds. I have encountered some wonderfully kind and caring religious mostly in my life, women who were well educated, great teachers and good parish sisters. But I’ve also met some very flawed and psychologically unwell sisters, unsuited to religious life. I’ve met some very embittered sisters who felt cheated of contentment and fulfilment because of their early formation years and the abnormal disciplines and spiritual practices imposed. But I have to affirm that I know some wonderful women religious who have contributed hugely to parish communities. I have read stories recently about religious women’s experiences from India and Africa and they are very disturbing. There are a myriad of stories to be acknowledged of amazing women religious across our country but there are issues about abuse of power and position which, when left unchecked and unspoken, can wreak havoc on some, emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically. I once left a religious order in late 70’s simply because of the Sunday morning “faults and failings open confessions” , which at 17 years of age was a step too far for me at that stage. However three years later I rejoined the teaching order for 4 years which were wonderful years, with a complete change of formation. I subsequently trained for Diicesan priesthood. I hope this Vatican home for abused, vulnerable nuns will be an admission that women can be abusers and should be removed from their authority base. I hope the abused nuns will be rehabilitated and their self esteem and dignity restored.


Anonymous 25th Jan 2020 — 8:30 am — It is appalling that nuns would be abusers
Hopefully this particular problem was peculiar to Italy, and is vanishing there.
A great may Italian hospitals were Church-controlled and had relied on nuns for cheap labour.
Women weren’t becoming nuns any more and the RC hospitals had tried to remedy that by making nuns of women from the Third World; similarly exploiting them as cheap labour (that’s the Italian style of government if you’ve ever wondered why those under it join the Mafia and similar).
The situation only got in the news, some years back, because one of those ‘nuns’ went back home for a visit and then, some months later, was noticed to be pregnant.
“The nuns who have joined recently are primarily Indian nurses such as Kerala-born Sister Evangelina, who came to help the fading Italian sisters.” –


Well, at least that’s something Abp Turtle doesn’t have to worry about, Bp Pat, with most, if not all her priests being… well, you know.


9.01 and 10.21: What sort of illiterates are You? Such idiotic, incoherent and sloppy comments. They are meaningless. Do go back to school.


“… jobs like cleaning for cardinals.”
I wonder if KOB’s former cleaners knew what he was up to, Bp Pat, or may have wondered about the odd tube of KY, for example, lying about.


I imagine his former cleaners must have been very proud of working for him at one time… before his downfall and disgrace. Can you imagine putting that down on your CV.



But isn’t that a dessert 🍰?

So the man had a sweet tooth. What of it?

Everyone needs something to chomp on.



No, he isn’t, you silly billy. 😀 He’s actually at luncheon, in the most convivial company.

I’d fetch him for you, but he makes a point of not speaking with his mouth full. His etiquette is, of course, impeccable. 😀


in the most convivial company? they can’t be that interesting if you’re stuck on your phone 🤣


‘he makes a point of not speaking with his mouth full’

we don’t need all the dirty details 😜



No need of touring those dim and dusty dens a’ more, my old and true friend. There is ebay and Amazon these days to cater for my intellectual and epistemological nourishment. Bargains can be had from the comfort of my armchair! (I bought Dalriada Dick’s old one for a song…literally! I had to sing Danny Boy for him as he sipped his Black Bush. Turned rather sentimental and teary, as I recall. Kept slipping his arm round my shoulder. Creepy.)

And what with this gammy leg? How’s a fellow to get around these days?

No, if I can’t travel to Lady Athena, then she must come to me through the modern wonder of the internet. And she does, faithfully and fondly.


It’s interesting to read the amount of crap being written about Seamus Mallon. He wasn’t always the saint that people portray him as. He was often blunt, rude and at times downright nasty. All this talk of him being a giant of politics and architect of the GFA in the North is just fantasy. This man undermined John Hume on many occasions and is well documented. During the GFA negotiations Mallon was often running to the betting shop to place bets on any old nag that was running. It’s quite comical to watch the SDLP (what do they stand for) and others almost canonize the chain smoker. He criticised Republicans more than Paisley did and was secretly a deeply ambitious man. A man that was complex, often rude/blunt, undermined his closest colleagues but NO saint.


Mallon could be quite blunt. My Sister was an air stewardess on the Heathrow flight some years ago and he was really rude for no reason and snappy. She said Paisley was always charming in comparison.


Interesting little postscript to today’s main theme, namely the case of Fr Paul Prior (SJ ?) I wonder where he is and what he is doing ? Is he still with the SJs and are they still responsible for him ? Is he still a novice ? Or did he profess vows before all this blew up with the SJs ? What is his situation / position ? There is evidently some kind of inquiry / investigation taking place, but in the meantime have his faculties and permissions to minister been withdrawn ? We probably should know all this, really. We should be told. The SJs, if they still do have responsibility for him, should let us know if he is still ministering publicly, or if the hot potato has been passed back to his original diocese then his bishop should be letting us know. We don’t need to know the gory details, but it seems reasonable for a superior / bishop to say that a priest has been suspended during the course of an investigation, with a presumption of innocence of course. But nothing. If he still is in the SJ noviciate in Birmingham, then i would presume that + Nursey / Bunty Longley will have had to be consulted, because if he does any ministry in Birmingham it is + Longley who will have given the permissions / faculties. So, I would respectfully suggest to whoever is his current superior to make some kind of statement about Fr Prior’s situation and standing, otherwise we are entitled to endlessly speculate as to what is happening. Respect for us, the laity, would be appreciated.


I’m watching some ‘most haunted’ episodes online. it was a very popular programme back in the day. Derek Acorah was a big part of the show, where he would he sometimes ‘channel’ spirts and communicate with the dead. Pat, what did you think of Derk Acorah, or indeed those who claim to speak to the beyond? are they just fake, or is there something to it? and have you ever encountered anything paranormal?


It’s a complicated area. I do believe in the spirit world and in spirits. I have had several different kinds of experiences.


Paul Prior suffered so much during his time as a young adult Seminarian. A senior Maynooth Priest sexually abused him. Prior never recovered


that is a very serious allegation to make. please be aware that IP addresses can be obtained by the Police and/or Gardai.


IP addresses are such a mine field in law and law enforcement rarely want to get involved. In cases of terrorism perhaps but I don’t think this blog constitutes a terrorist threat. Let’s get real.


5.00: A very serious allegation to make and to reveal here. Did you go to any authority in state or church? Validate your accusation and soon as I have contacts to seek the TRUTH.


Buckley why are you allowing people to speak Ill of the dead. This is a disgrace and an outrage. The SDLP will be taking a dim view of this.


I met Seamus Mallon on a few occasions. On one occasion he was very aggressive and shouted at me. Truth!


No. It was on the street outside an SDLP conference. I was championing the cause of a Co. Down man who was claiming the SDLP controlled council was doing him an injustice.


The Irish really need to get away from all sorts of superstitious nonsense. I’m thinking particularly of this nonsense of not speaking ill of the dead. What’s that all about?


The comments about Seamus Mallon on here have brought back memories for me. His favourite Newspaper, of course, was the Irish News owned and controlled by an SDLP, Knights of St Columnanus supporter and a champion of the Irish Catholic Church. Well the SDLP have now proved their worth supporting abortion. Mallon as Deputy didn’t have the courage to stand up to Trimble but McGuinness did. I remember back in 86/87 Fr Joe McVeigh on the RTE O’Brien show said both the Shinners and the weak SDLP should sit down and talk. They wheeled Mallon in and he personally attacked Fr McVeigh and said he should be ashamed being a man of the cloth suggesting such a notion. In the end that’s what Mallon agreed to do with clenched teeth. As one poster said earlier, hit the nail on the head, Mallon secretly undermined Hume and the SDLP regard Mallon a hero. What does that say about them. Seamus Mallon, a hero, a gentleman, a big beast- NOT!


The SDLP was always the political wing of the RCC, especially in earlier days. I never voted for them. Hume was the best of them.


Buckley, I rarely agree with you. Regarding the SDLP you hit it on the nose. The newspaper is SDLP controlled and also by the Irish Hierarchy. Correct me if I’m wrong, did the Irish News refuse to publish the photos of Rory Coyle’s crown jewels but instead handed them straight to that great lummox in Ara Coeli.


Well thank God we agree on something 😊 The SDLP, the church and the Irish News have always been in bed together. In 1989 I did a masters in QUB about it all.


Back to the main subject of the blog today – Nuns ! I knew some sisters in north London who had a big school property and a big convent property from the days when they were a big community. But they became fewer and fewer and older and older. Same story as many congregations. The question was, what to do with the very valuable properties they had, really worth a lot in that part of the world, and ripe for development ? + Vinny made it clear that he expected that they would hand it all over, lock stock and barrel, to him and Westminster. The sisters stood their ground. Their reason was that they had an expectation that they would be cared for when they were elderly by younger sisters, as they indeed had done in their time. But now there was nobody, they said that they had an expectation that they would use the money to care for themselves in some decency. Then + Vinny might get some of the money later when they had all gone. + Vin had to put up with this, because he had no legal rights, and they stood up to him. Of course, he complained that morally they had no right to any of it, because it had been given to them by the lay faithful. But, I bet if he had got his hands on it, he would have sold it on and used the money for his diocesan purposes, and sod the sisters ! I think he’s probably faced the same resistance from people like the SJs who have nice properties to sell in London following the closure of some institutions that they had. I’ve heard the same from other religious orders as they downsize – + Vinny is there trying to bully them in to handing it all over to him. It’s okay for him, he will be looked after in lordly fashion when he retires, probably in that nice pad in Putney or somewhere along the river, or in some grace and favour apartment in Rome, probably both, as he flits back and forth between London and Rome, business class, VIP entrance and the lot ! Long gone are the days of the humble caravan !


5.55: This blog may not pose as a terrorist threat. God forbid, but it most certainly poses a threat to many by facilitating constant hate inciting speech, particularly from Magna and his cohort of haters, all supported by Bucks.


6.55::I’m presuming you’re talking about REAL TRUTH IN JUSTICE as distinct from your smash and destroy version….


My thesis was about how the Irish News helped the bishops control dissident priests. It was called Fath and Fatherland – A the irish News, The Hierarchy and the Control of Dissidents.


I think I know now why the Irish News may hate you Bp Pat. Possibly the SDLP too. That’s a revelation tonight.


7.07: And that thesis was accepted! Did you print it? Would be interesting to read it….


Is Fitzpatrick still in charge at the Irish News?I’m only asking a question. My recollection is that very few correspondents attack you Pat on the Irish News apart from Allison Morris who claimed recently on Twitter that she has no time for organised religion. She sticks her nose into your business.


I think Fitzy is still in charge. The IN have never liked me. Do you ever come across Des Wilson’s play HOW TO READ THE IRISH NEWS WS WITHOUT BOKIN?


Fr buckley I never knew this about the Irish news carry on not be buyin it again. How I’m I going to read the deaths


Pat, would like to see that play by Fr Des. Sounds fun. Des was loved by everybody in west Belfast and beyond. He was right you know about that rag the Irish News.


Funny you mention that Allison Morris, she is a big lump and likes the eating houses and bar scene. The BBC in Ormeau Avenue like her commentary and pay her well for it. Is it any wonder she likes places like Deanes – her own words.


I know of a nun, a lovely and gentle lady, who was raped by a priest. I believe she had the kind of spirituality which required her to offer personal suffering to God…silently, and uncomplainingly. And she did so, until the assaults became too much even for such a meek soul. She reported the assaults to her fellow sisters…who promptly packed her off to another country. ‘Sent her into exile’, in other words.

The offending Irish priest? To my knowledge, nothing at all was done about him.

I don’t post this comment lightly; in fact, I first telephoned a relative of the nun to request permission, and it was given, with certain provisos. All of them have been observed by me.


8.02: And what did you do? Did you report this serious abuse to any authority? Magna, with all your outrage over abuse crimes, have you ever, even with the slightest suspicion of abuse, ever been pro active in reporting abuse? I have on a couple of occasions as a priest reported abuse to authorities, with or without anyone’s permission. In both cases the abuser was dealt with by authorities.



Your concern isn’t the welfare of that poor nun, or justice for her, but simply getting one over on Magna. In truth, I shouldn’t expect higher from a Roman Catholic priest, such is the baseness of your self-regard.

Before offering that flatulence as comment, you should have considered that the nun is now dead; therefore no complaint to police can be made. Nor do I know the identity of the priest who repeatedly raped her.

Go now and offer Compline, ‘Father’. It won’t benefit you in the slightest spiritually, but at least it will keep you out of harm’s way.


Th poor auld nuns were a sub species in the past. Nun of this Nun of that and Nun of t other hi
Mind you some did have an internal structure that’d make old South Africa a junior school. The one thing some of them shared with their willied brothers of th skirt was a fear of outside life. Sure they’ d never survive…..


Nuns betraying, damaging other nuns.

Priests raping innocent nuns.

Priests raping innocent children.

Clerics and religious of all hues betraying trust, destroying minds and bodies. Destroying faith, and murdering souls.

Trails of the foulest moral corruption…sideroads of the broader path of Christ-abandonment that leads right to the Vatican.

I used to think that poor Sinead O’Connor was an out-and-out ‘headbin’, a national joke, when she ripped apart a picture of Pope JP II, warning those who would listen to know their enemy. We now know whose enemy JP II was most of all: innocent children.

Sinead is having the last laugh now.

And don’t we all look foolish for doubting her.


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