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Chilean nuns relieved by Pope's recognition of abuse

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Chilean nuns relieved by Pope's recognition of abuse

Chilean nuns relieved by Pope's recognition of abuse

Three former Chilean nuns who claim to have been sexually abused over two decades ago by priests in their religious order have hailed comments by Pope Francis earlier this month in which he recognized the abuse of nuns in the Catholic Church.

Havovi Cooper reports


Chilean nuns relieved by Pope's recognition of abuse

Chilean nuns who claim they were sexually abused by priests expressed relief that the Vatican was finally admitting the church has a problem that must be addressed.

Yolanda Tondreaux is 1 of 3 former nuns who gave Reuters explicit details of how they were embraced and fondled by several priests.

Soundbite Yolanda Tondreaux saying: "It's not normal for a priest to approach you - as a religious woman - and hug you from the back and put to put his hands behind you and caresses you from top to bottom.

Then to come closer to your chest.


The priest's intentions here were obvious." Tondreaux joined the Catholic church's Good Samaritan Order in Chile.

The priests she said abused her have since died.

Earlier this month, Pope Francis, whose papacy has been marked by efforts to quell a global crisis over sexual abuse of children by catholic clergy, said he was committed to stopping the abuse of nuns by clergy-- some of which had amounted to "sexual slavery", Soundbite Pope Francis saying: "I think it is still taking place because it's not as though the moment you become aware of something it goes away," In December last year, the Vatican sent a delegation to investigate abuse claims made against Chile's Good Samaritan Order - which looks after the terminally ill.

The former nuns who spoke to Reuters said the pope's recognition of these abuses come as a huge relief.

Soundbite Marcela Quitral saying: "I told the Mother Superior many times about the fathers who were abusing nuns.

She said that we were to blame, that we had provoked them." Soundbite Eliana Macias saying: "She said the father isn't going to leave the congregation, the one that's going to leave is you" A spokesman for the Talca prosecutor's office confirmed to reuters that complaints had been launched against priests and a mother superior of the Good Samaritan Order for alleged sexual abuse and cover-up.

He said the investigation remained open and no charges had yet been brought.

The Good Samaritan Order declined to comment.

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