Feb 5, 2019

Pope Francis acknowledges abuse of nuns for the first time

Returning from his first papal visit to the Arabian Peninsula, Pope Francis confirmed Tuesday that clergy members' abuse of nuns has been so severe that it even reached the point of "sexual slavery" in one female French congregation, which was subsequently dissolved in 2005 by his predecessor Benedict XVI, CBS News reports.

The big picture: This is the first time that Pope Francis has publicly acknowledged the sexual abuse of nuns by clergy members. He told reporters that more needs to be done, but said that the Catholic Church "shouldn't be scandalized by this" because it is committed to addressing the problem and has been for some time. Senior church leaders around the world have a history of covering up sex abuse scandals, a reality that Pope Francis has been forced to confront amid new revelations about the horrific scale of such allegations.

Go deeper: Pope criticizes U.S. bishops' handling of sex abuse crisis

Go deeper