A Nun is an exploited woman who devotes her whole life to serving a Religious Cult the Roman Catholic Church or some other religious organisation.

Sex and marriage[]

A nun is called the Bride of Christ, she may wear a beautiful wedding dress when she takes her vows and she may wear a wedding ring afterwards. Despite this being married to Jesus isn’t about sex, Jesus never comes to the many nuns he’s married and Jesus never gives them what a loving wife wants from her husband. So for many nuns their marriage to Jesus is about being sexually frustrated and hoping to meet Jesus in Heaven. Some nuns can accept being virgins for Jesus, others have relationships with priests and/or other men, even with other women, they can always go to confession afterwards. [1] Relationships between nuns and priests aren't always consensual, some are sexual assault. The only people victim nuns can complain to are typically priests of the type who cover up Child sex abuse. [2]

Having a baby[]

Being a nun means never having a baby as most married women do, at least a nun can’t get pregnant unless she’s broken her vows. Can a nun conceive a baby immaculately the way Roman Catholics imagine believe try to convince themselves Jesus was conceived? People think that’s a mockery. Well an ice cream company put out advertisements in the UK featuring a nun who they pretended had conceived immaculately and Roman Catholics felt insulted, Roman Catholics even tried to get it banned, see

But the lady in the advertisement looks attractive.

Less attractive sex[]

There are complaints that Roman Catholic priests exploits nuns sexually and that the Vatican does little to protect victims. This happens especially in the Third World where women are conditioned to be subservient to men, in Africa nuns are seen as safer than sex workers as they are less likely to carry HIV. Getting a certificate to work in a particular diocese could depend on the nun having sex with the priest in charge. 23 countries are specifically mentioned as places where abuse happens, not all are Third World:
Botswana, Burundi, Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, India, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Tonga, Uganda, United States, Zambia, Zaire, Zimbabwe.

Sex between priest and nun can be consensual which is not necessarily abusive but coercive sex is a big problem.

"Groups of sisters from local congregations have made passionate appeals for help to members of international congregations and explain that, when they themselves try to make representations to church authorities about harassment by priests, they simply ‘are not heard.’

Frequently the nun is forced to leave the congregation with no means of support while the priest is moved to another area and continues as a priest. [3]

In another context a Roman Catholic spokesman said

—Vatican deputy spokesman Thomas Rosica[4]

Cardinal Bergoglio had a special place in his heart and his ministry for the poor, for the disenfranchised, for those living on the fringes and facing injustice,

We wait to see if Pope Francis, formerly Cardinal Bergoglio acts to deal with injustice and oppression within the Roman Catholic Church itself. If he doesn't sooner or later Francis will face charges of hypocrisy.

Physical and psychological abuse[]

During the late 20th Century this was a problem, see what former num, Karen Armstrong had to say:-

But the sisters ran a cruel regime. Armstrong was required to mortify her flesh with whips and wear a spiked chain around her arm. When she spoke out of turn, she claims she was forced to sew at a treadle machine with no needle for a fortnight. [5]

Is this type of abuse still happening now in the 21st Century? Abuse probably is still happening in more backward convents and in more backward parts of the world. We'll probably have to wait till yet another dissatisfied former nun speaks out before we know for sure what's happening today.

Pope Francis in his inaugural mass said he personally must be inspired by the weakest. [6] Nuns and religious sisters who become victims of sexual exploitation are not necessarily the very weakest but they are weaker than their exploiters. Time will tell how much Francis will do to protect them.

Disobedient nuns[]

Ophelia Benson [7]

Well what does it [radical feminist] mean [in that context]? Anything more than the vote and equal pay for equal work, pretty much. It means, basically, thinking there’s anything wrong with treating the female half of the population as an afterthought.

The Vatican is really displeased with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious that speaks for 80% of the 57,000 nuns in the USA. The Vatican wants the nuns to help fight their battle about abortion, birth control and homosexuality but the nuns care more about economic justice and poverty. [8] Caring about poverty!!! That’s scandalous. And those nuns dare to contradict male bishops, and encourage "radical feminism". Not all at the Vatican agreed about what to do. [9] Male overseers were appointed to try and get the nuns to behave but as of August 2012 the nuns weren't complying. [10] The LCWR have some support, the Conference were given the Herbert Haag Prize for 2013 for Freedom in the Church. [11]

No other similar dissident Roman Catholic group has experienced a similar visitation. Perhaps Benedict XVI picked on the women when he started the visitation in 2009 and the whole thing just went on and on getting nowhere because admitting a mistake was too difficult.

Pope Francis and the LCWR[]

Pope Francis expressed appreciation for the work the women do for vulnerable people but also supports the critics. [12] Francis told the women to mend their ways. Will they? [13]


While Pope Francis has received great press for his symbolic gestures of openness and warmth and humility, the real test of how different he would be from his predecessors was when he was confronted with decisions that had significant consequences.

When it came to action rather than pious words very early in his reign Francis came down firmly on the side of tradition and against freedom.

The nuns are by no means the only Roman Catholics who refuse to follow the Vatican lead, see Disobedient priests and Cafeteria Catholics.

  1. There are plenty of men in the RC Church holding heretical views of various kinds.
  2. Why did the pope crack down on the women so early in his reign?
  3. Was this opposition to heresy or opposition to feminism?
  4. Alternatively did men in the Curia opposed to feminism simply put this issue into the pope's in-tray rather than issues involving male heretics?

We don't know yet. At the end of 2013 there is no systematic attack on disobedient priests though one Disobedient priest, Fr Greg Reynolds was Excommunicated. Perhaps Pope Francis is as unsure what to do over this as we are about what he is doing.


One inescapable truth is that a group of men, meeting in secret, assessed, judged and found guilty a women's organization. The LCWR tale is anchored in a culture of male clericalism, out of step with contemporary mores. The second-class role of women in the church and an exclusively male authority structure are fundamental starting points for understanding the dynamics of the Vatican/LCWR story.

As of May 2014 a standoff and war of words continues, the LCWR honored a dissident, feminist Theologian, Sister Elizabeth Johnson (a Fordham theology professor, who has written that women are uncomfortable with “the dominant images of God as father, lord and king” and would prefer “non-authoritarian” female language for God"). [16] Well the male church hierarchy doesn't like that. [17] [18] [19] Are we surprised? Even LCWR conference programs will need Vatican approval. Cardinal Walter Kasper closely allied to Francis doesn't want us “overly concerned” all this [20] but unless the crackdown stops we will be concerned. Francis hasn't done anything personally as far as we know but if he wanted to stop the crackdown he could.

  1. The LCWR focus on social justice more than on homosexuality, contraception, abortion and the like.
  2. Francis says the Church should focus on social justice more than on homosexuality, contraception, abortion and the like.

Yet Francis continues the pressure on the nuns. [21] That does look just a little bit Inconsistent.

There is a good and a a bad side to Christianity, see the category page

See also[]


  1. Nasty habits: nun’s sex and torture tell all
  2. Catholic Nuns Are Speaking Out About Their Own Abuse at the Hands of Priests
  3. Vatican Admits Priests are Raping Nuns Around the World;AIDS exacerbates sexual exploitation of nuns, reports allege;Vatican: Priests Have Been Raping Nuns to Avoid Hookers with HIV;Vatican Confirms Widespread Rape Of Nuns By Priests In 23 Countries;Nasty habits: nun’s sex and torture tell all;Ex-nun's confessions set to rock Kerala Church
  4. CNN Vatican analyst: Pope Francis' name choice 'precedent shattering'
  5. Karen Armstrong: The compassionate face of religion
  6. Pope Francis in plea for poor as inauguration Mass held
  7. The pope still hates “radical feminists”
  8. US nuns won't 'compromise mission'
  9. A Vatican cardinal pulls back the curtain
  10. Nuns pushing back;An American Nun Responds To Vatican Criticism;US nuns tell the Vatican to go to hell
  11. “Rebel” nuns receive religious freedom award
  12. Pope Francis maintains Vatican stance against US nuns' group
  13. Recent LCWR statements – context for the Holy See’s smackdown
  14. Pope Francis fails a test
  15. Editorial: Misguided LCWR mandate lumbers onward
  16. American nuns at rough end of Pope Francis’s mixed messages, Whether deliberate or not, Vatican ambiguity is most harsh on women
  17. Crackdown on US nuns continues under Pope Francis
  18. Cardinal Gerhard Mueller Rebukes U.S. Nuns For Honoring Feminist Theologian Elizabeth Johnson
  19. There's been trouble between Elizabeth Johnson and a council of bishops, Elizabeth Johnson says the bishops misrepresented what she wrote. [1]
  20. Vatican crackdown on U.S. nuns echoes of a modern day witch hunt
  21. Pope Francis is throwing nuns under the bus for sharing his own beliefs