CATHOLIC CHURCH & Its Institutions

JP Morgan of Milan is closing its Vatican account on 30 March 2012 because, according to media reports, it ‘failed to provide sufficient information on money transfers’. So the Vatican bank, also known as Istituto per le Opere di Religione (IOR) [Institute For Works Of Religion]  lacks ‘transparency’ in its transactions, according to JP Morgan?  I’m not saying JP Morgan is laundering money, but its claims are a bit like the pot calling the kettle black!  The timing of JP Morgan’s action seems to coincide with the Tax Police in Italy scrutinising tax avoidance by not-for-profit organisations.


The Vatican Bank

The Secretive Vatican


A Good Partnership?


IOR was founded in 1942 by Pope Pius Xl “to provide for the safekeeping and administration of movable and immovable property transferred or entrusted to it by physical or juridical persons and intended for works of religion or charity”. It is located inside Vatican City and is run by a professional bank CEO who reports to the Pope through a committee of cardinals. Last year, the Vatican was forced to adapt internal laws to comply with international standards on financial crime, in order to secure a place in the ‘White List’ of states. We are informed that the 110-acre ‘sovereign state’ in the heart of Rome, now complies with the rules of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

But the closing of its JP Morgan account is a major blow to the Vatican’s chances of being included in that List. The Vatican Hierarchy’s attempt to clear the air of corruption that has surrounded the Vatican for decades has been thwarted. To add to its woes, there is growing doubt among some international law experts that Vatican City actually qualifies as a sovereign state, established in 1929 by the then Prime Minister, Benito Mussolini.

See More: ‘The Case of the Pope’ by Geoffrey Robertson QC.

Barbie Latza Nadeau writes that the Vatican & the Holy See face serious allegations that their curious accounting practices are really a cover for money-laundering schemes and other crimes.

JPMorgan Chase sent a letter to the Vatican on Feb. 15 to notify them of the impending closure after Vatican bankers were “unable to respond” to a series of requests about questionable money transfers from the account. The account was a “sweeping facility” that was zeroed out at the end of each business day. The Vatican account, opened in 2009, and had processed some $1.5 billion of funds to other Vatican accounts, mostly in Germany, according to financial documents published in Italy’s leading financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.

Sweeping facilities are not illegal, but Vatican bankers refused to reveal the reasons for moving so much money in such a short period of time. The notification of the account’s closure was the culmination of an ongoing investigation into the Vatican’s alleged creative accounting. It began in September 2010 when tax police in Rome froze $33 million in Vatican assets after a covert investigation into the way the Catholic Church moves its millions around. The assets were eventually released in June 2011, but the investigation is ongoing.

The revelations above came about through the media release of a letter written to the Pope. Cardinal Carlo Maria Viganò was the writer of the leaked letter. The public image of the Vatican bank has been harmed by the so-called “Vatileaks” scandal, in which highly sensitive documents, including letters to Pope Benedict, were published in Italian media.

The Cardinal was hastily transferred to Washington, D.C., to head the Holy See embassy there earlier this year, after the letter came to light in the media. Rampant corruption within the Holy See was referred to in the letter and sent ripples around Rome. In the letter, on Vatican letterhead and sealed with an official stamp, Cardinal Vigano pleaded for the pope to allow him to stay in Rome to continue his anti-fraud work. “Holy Father, my transfer at this time would provoke much disorientation and discouragement in those who have believed it was possible to clean up so many situations of corruption and abuse of power that have been rooted in the management of so many departments.”

The leaked letter scandal was quickly dubbed “Vatileaks” by the Vatican’s own spokesman. Some of the leaked documents appear to show a conflict among top Vatican officials about just how transparent the bank should be about dealings that took place before it enacted its new laws. The Holy See did not deny the authenticity of the documents. Instead it opened an internal investigation into potential moles. So far, no one has been named as a source for the breach.

The Vatican has a long history of avoiding scrutiny and hiding its ill-gotten gains. People are still trying to sue the Vatican over the Nazi loot that went in through the front door of the Vatican and vanished out the back door.

Despite efforts to prove otherwise, the damage to the church’s financial reputation has already been done. Earlier this month, the U.S. State Department named the Holy See on a list of its own, as a “jurisdiction of concern” for money-laundering practices in its annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, alongside countries like Honduras and Syria. The Vatican shrugged off the State Department’s concerns electing that a “jurisdiction of concern” was far better than one of a “primary concern.” But Reuters’ financial columnist Pierre Briançon disagrees. “The best way for the Vatican to come clean would of course be to close the bank: it’s hard to see why it’s needed other than to shroud the Church’s financial dealings in a veil of obsessive secrecy,” he wrote in a recent blog post.

This is not the first time the Vatican bank has been embroiled in immoral activities. Three decades ago, the Holy See faced its first battle against allegations of money laundering and corruption. It was named in the mysterious death of Roberto Calvi, known then as “God’s Banker.” Calvi was president of Banco Amborsiano despite being a Freemason with alleged mafia ties. The bank collapsed amid allegations of sinister activities, and Calvi was found hanging from a rope with bricks in his pockets under the Blackfriars Bridge in London.  Ms Nadeau writes that the ‘Vatican was able to redeem its reputation back then, at least temporarily. Whether it will be able to save face this time may depend on divine intervention, or at least a better accountant’.

Reuters: Money laundering is usually connected with drugs and other illegal activity. Sounds like the old days in England, when the church had its hands in all manner of things.

Since the resignation of  ‘Bunga Bunga’ Prime Minister Berlusconi, Italy has formed a more credible government, headed by Mario Monti as Prime Minister, as well as Minister of Economy and Finance. Mr Monti previously served as European Commissioner 1995 -2004.  He has brought in strict new tax regimes which includes deeper scrutiny of non-profit organisations, the biggest of which is the Catholic Church.  The Catholic Church, through the Vatican, has an Italy-wide network of assets such as extensive property holdings, schools, hospitals, clinics, hostels, apartments, on whose profits the Catholic Church has paid minimal taxes, if any, until now.


More:  The Corrupt Vatican

And: The Vatican Bank or Office For Religious Works

Jesus’ famous quote taken from the Gospel “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s” has never been more relevant to Italy than it is today.

Sources used:

Philip Pullella & Lisa Jucca for Reuters

Barbie Latza Nadeau

Huff Post



Below: Catholic orphanage, schools & boarding college complex in Adelaide Road South Dunedin which also included the Sisters of Mercy convent, as described in Anne Frandi-Coory’s book:

‘Whatever Happened to Ishtar?’

A Passionate Quest To Find Answers For Generations Of Defeated Mothers



Rear view of St Philomena’s Dormitory (for older girls) shortly before it was demolished. Anne lived here for a short time before being sent to St Dominic’s Boarding College at 9 years. (Photo:copyright to afcoory)


St Philomena's Dormitory 2

The long remembered narrow sashes and fire escapes. (Photo:copyright to afcoory)


four nuns 001

Carmody sisters: Sister Christopher, right (Anne Frandi-Coory’s ‘foster mother’ & nursery supervisor) with her three biological sisters. (Photo: Sister Joanna)


St Patrick's school & chapel

St Patrick’s Primary School and Chapel in the Mercy Orphanage complex where Anne & Kevin began their first year at school. (Photo: Sister Joanna)



Anne (3rd row from front, 2nd left), in St Patrick’s School group photo; most were day pupils. (Photo: Joseph Coory copyright to afcoory)


St Agnes' Nursery

St Agnes’ Nursery where Kevin, Anne, Anthony, were placed as infants. (Photo: copyright to afcoory)


St Vincent's

St Vincent’s building which housed the orphanage kitchen & dining room. On the left, the same tree in which Anne saw the never forgotten black mother cat & kittens, while she lived at the orphanage. (Photo: copyright to afcoory)

BELOW: The Catholic St Joseph’s Boys’ Home, 133-135 Doon Street,  Otago Peninsula. The Boys’ Home, when my brothers lived there,  was surrounded by farmland owned by the Catholic Church (This building now serves as a students’ and nuns’ hostel)


St Joseph's Boys' Home Waverley 5

Front entrance to St Joseph’s Orphanage for boys at Waverley, Otago Peninsula; home to Kevin & Anthony at various times. (Photo: copyright to afcoory)

Rear view St Joseph's Boys' Home Waverley overlooking Harbour

Rear view of St Joseph’s Orphanage overlooking Otago Harbour. (Photo: Copyright to afcoory)


BELOW: St Dominic’s Boarding College, surrounded by St Joseph’s Cathedral, St Joseph’s Primary School and Christian Brothers’ establishment.


St Dominic's College

Imposing view of St Dominic’s Boarding College at the top of Rattray Street, Dunedin. (This building was one of the first to be built totally in concrete, in the Southern Hemisphere. (Photo: copyright to afcoory)


St Joseph's Cathedral, St Dominic's College, St Joseph's Primary School

Another view of the Dominican complex & St Joseph’s Cathedral (photo: copyright to afcoory)



Rear view of St Dominic’s boarding complex behind the Cathedral (photo: copyright to afcoory)



St Dominic’s entrance to the boarding college kitchen and dining room; day pupils could also have their lunch there if their parents paid.(Photo: copyright to afcoory)


St Joseph's Cathedral & St Dominic's College

Dunedin Lebanese Citadel viewed from Rattray Street: St Joseph’s Cathedral & St Dominic’s Boarding College (Photo:copyright to afcoory)



View of St Joseph’s Cathedral Dunedin looking down onto Rattray Street from Smith Street, 2019 (Copyright photo by Susan Tarr, Author)

The Closing of the Western Mind; The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason

By Charles Freeman, published 2002


For anyone who is interested in the roots of Christianity, how it developed, and eventually swept the Western world, this book is the book to read. Greek philosophical tradition and paganism, were the losers.

To me personally, the most interesting chapters in the book, were those which dealt with the way in which a particular sect of Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire; Roman Catholicism.  It was largely because of political expediency; more power and control over the masses, by Roman emperors. I was fascinated by  the fierce in-fighting surrounding the  ‘correct’ early  interpretation and establishment of Christian dogma, as early as the 4th Century ACE.  It largely centred around the ‘Godhead’ of Christianity: God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and whether or not all three were as ‘one’ or of three levels, (to put it very simply).  Part of the problem was that early Christian dogma was formulated from several different sources: scriptures, gospels, old testament, Greek philosophy, Hebrew, Latin and Greek translations.  Also  taken into account was the life and status of Jesus, and in this case, there were so many disputed ‘facts’ about who he was and how he lived, that it appears the Jesus we know, could have been a ‘collage’ of several different prophets or holy men who lived around the same time.

In the book, Freeman writes about Emperor Julian (who ruled from 361) – Dismayed by the vicious infighting he saw around him…Experience had taught him that no wild beasts are so dangerous to man as Christians are to one another.  Ammianus Marcellinus further suggests that  Emperor Julian believed that the Christians left to themselves would simply tear each other apart. Julian was well aware of the brutality of Christian generals and emperors.

-Anne Frandi-Coory 27 October 2011


One more review of many:

“One of the best books to date on the development of Christianity…beautifully written and impressively annotated, this is an indispensible read for anyone interested in the roots of Christianity and its implications for our modern world view….Essential.”


More here on Anne Frandi-Coory’s Facebook page

The book ‘Banished Babies’ by Mike Milotte, is about babies born in Ireland to unmarried mothers.   But we now know, banished babies were also born to illegitimate mothers in  New Zealand, Australia, America and England. More countries where this practise took place may yet come to light.  Australian Banished Babies want an apology. You might say “But this happened last Century”.  The thing is, the wounds left in these heartbreaking cases, never heal.


See Adoption: The Open Wound That Never Heals


‘Banished Babies’ were those babies taken from their unmarried mothers at birth.  I believe that the word ‘taken’ in this instance is a misnomer. It should read ‘ripped’, because that’s how it felt to the young mothers. I know this personally from my own mother’s case. This ‘baby snatching’ as others call it, was not for altruistic purposes; rather it was following Catholic dogma issued by the Vatican’s Office of the Congregation For the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly Office of the Holy Inquisition).   It was certainly not for the welfare of the infants, or their mothers.  No.  It was to remove these babies from their mothers who were seen by the Catholic Church as sinners who had to be punished. In the nuns’ minds, indoctrinated by the Church, the babies themselves were being saved from the clutches of satan and were ‘sold’, mostly to wealthy American couples, who, it was stipulated, had to be of the Catholic Faith.  It was strictly enforced by the Church, that neither mother or infant would ever be able to trace each other, and this caused even more heartbreak decades later.   (See my post about Philomena Lee). Large sums of money were exchanged for the privilege of ‘buying a newborn’, donation being the euphemism used. Ironic, isn’t it?  So much of that wealth the Church received, is now being paid out to even more victims of the Catholic Church; in the form of compensation  to  thousands of families whose children were sexually abused by paedophile priests.


For all the mothers and babies who never found each other


Between the end of WWII and 1965 more than 2,200 Irish infants were adopted out of the country, mostly by hopeful parents in the U.S. All the adoptive parents were, by mandate of the church in Ireland, Catholic. Until the late 1990’s and the work of Irish journalist Michael Milotte this was a fact known to few in Ireland and fewer in the U.S. In Ireland Milotte’s work, emphasising both the emotional and physical brutalisation of the birth mothers and the country’s loss of vital human capital, led to a great furor.


In 2001, the Washington Post reported:

Milotte, a senior reporter for the Irish television network RTE, says life was particularly hard for the mothers in these convents, which were largely self-sustaining thanks to the women’s labour but also received public funding. In some cases, he says, the priests and nuns received money from the adoptive parents, who paid “confinement and medical costs” associated with their child’s birth.

“Where did the money go?” he wonders. “It sustained the people who ran the institutions in a manner they wouldn’t have otherwise enjoyed.”  But money likely wasn’t the primary motivator, he says. Rather, there was a demand for children, and many of the nuns believed they were doing God’s work by sending some of Ireland‘s social outcasts to a better life in the land of opportunity.

“They thought they were doing good,” says Milotte in a phone interview from Dublin. “The fact that people might have rights didn’t enter into their thinking. They thought they knew best. If, in doing the best thing, there was an opportunity to make money, that was all the better.”  In those postwar days, it was not uncommon for Irish children to be adopted by U.S. military and government employees living abroad, Milotte says.

The birth mothers of these children spent their pregnancies and post-natal, pre-adoption lives in varioushomes, often convents, for girls and women who were seen by the conservative Catholic culture as shame-worthy moral degenerates. The horrific conditions that these women underwent was recently dramatized in the movie the Magdelene Sisters.



Milotte spoke with NPR’s Daniel Zwerdling upon release of his book Banished Babies in May of 1998:

Many of these women were seen as the next thing to prostitutes, and were very often told that when their identities became known. Even when girls got pregnant, very often they didn’t get married even if — because there was the stigma attached to having had sex before marriage. So even where a relationship endured, the child would be given up for adoption. And it was all done in secret.

I am one of those kids given up for adoption. It was in that interview in May of 1998, two days after I returned to Chicago following my mother’s funeral, that I learned of the controversy. I have always known that I was adopted, that I was a ‘true Irishman’, and I had always been proud and honored by the distinction. In the days immediately following my mom’s death I told my Dad that I had never for a second doubted who my ‘real’ parents were, that he and my mom were the only ones who can lay claim to me. I feel no different today.

None-the-less, as the NPR story continued I found myself getting information that I’m sure even they didn’t have.

ZWERDLING:  Here’s one of the most curious aspects of this story.It’s hard enough for most women to give up a baby for adoption during the first few hours or weeks of its life. But church officials forced the young mothers to stay in their convents and raise their own infants for at least one year or more before adoptive families could come and get them.Reporter Mike Milotte says he’s turned up cases where young women changed their minds after their babies were born and tried to leave the convents. (This also happened to my mother in New Zealand). But the nuns sent guards to capture the women and bring them back.For her part, Mary O’Connor says, she knew she’d have to give her baby away. She felt she literally had no choice. But by the time the nuns came to take her son, she’d been raising him for 17 months. Then one evening, O’Connor says, a nun told her, “Get him ready. We’re giving him away in the morning.”

O’CONNOR: So she just carried it over to the convent. There was two parts, like there was a hospital part where the children were kept and then there was the convent part. And the child was brought over to the convent part. And there was three steps up. You went in the side door and there were three steps up. And they went to the top of the steps and they said, “Just say goodbye now. That’s it.”


-Anne Frandi-Coory 25 July 2011

For more about my mother’s lost children & the heartlessness of the Catholic Church:

  ‘Whatever Happened to Ishtar? – A Passionate Quest to Find Answers for Generations of Defeated Mothers’.

Updated 29 July 2014

Philippines’ population reaches 100 million and sticks its tongue out at the Pope!   Condoms will be freely distributed…..


Philippines’ President Benigno Aquino III, still widely popular, is supporting artificial birth control even if it means risking excommunication from the dominant Roman Catholic church.  But beware, Mr Aquino, the opposition is out to get you so don’t follow in the footsteps of other disgraced male political leaders.  You are not smear proof and your country needs you.

The wide-ranging and acrimonious debate over government-funded access to contraceptives in the Philippines has entered the country’s Congress.   The issue is creating deeper rifts between the powerful and conservative Catholic establishment, which says contraceptives are as sinful as abortions,  and reformers, who want more openness about condoms and other birth control in the impoverished Southeast Asian nation to slow population growth and help prevent disease.


Pope says NO


The Reproductive Health Bill introduced  into the House of Representatives would require the government to provide information on family planning methods, make contraceptives available free of charge and introduce reproductive health and sexuality classes in schools.  Perfectly reasonable and sensible I would have thought.

Supporters believe the measures will slow the Philippines’ rapid population growth that surely contributes to the country’s crushing poverty.  Influential bishops [surprise!] have blocked family planning bills in the past by arguing that they would erode moral values, encourage promiscuity and early pregnancies.   But would they prevent child sex abuse by paedophile priests, I wonder?


See   Female Sex Workers Recognised By The Pope

&   Catholic Condom Confusion

Updated 15 November 2013

Pope Benedict preaches forgiveness again, albeit centuries too late! Has anything really changed in the Catholic Church?

In the last year or so the Pope has forgiven Joan of Arc (possibly mistaken identity) Galileo, and Martin Luther, their alleged heresy against The Church.

See previous posts: Joan of Arc; &  Galileo’s Daughter

The Reformation

The Reformation

THE REFORMATION by Owen Chadwick

– A Book Review

Martin Luther, a former Catholic priest, the Pope now says, did not intend to split the Catholic Church. Luther (1483-1546)  wanted to purge The Church of corruption.  The poor were forced to contribute to the Church’s coffers at Sunday Mass,  and starved, while the clergy grew fat on that income and the wealth given to them by the privileged in order that those who sinned (like paedophile priests) may take a short cut around penances for their mortal sins, and still get to heaven.  Luther preached that whether we go to either heaven or hell,  is preordained when we are born.  We cannot bribe our way into heaven.  This was Luther’s way of stopping the corruption of indulgences within the Catholic Church. Luther believed the Bible to be the sole source of religious authority and made the Bible accessible to the masses by translating it into the vernacular and arranging hundreds of copies to be printed; made possible by Johann Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press.

See previous post: Justification of Johann Gutenberg

The whole thing is rather sickening and hypocritical really. The move by the Pope is believed to be the Vatican PR Machine’s way of softening Pope Benedict’s image as arch conservative hardliner, ex-head of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, and pro nazi sympathiser during World War ll.  It is no secret that the Catholic Church supported Nazism.  The Pope is also erecting a statue in the Vatican gardens, to Galileo, another  “heretic” excommunicated by the Church, and who lived out his last years in poverty under house arrest.  His crime was his belief in heliocentrism: the planets and the earth revolve around a relatively stationary sun at the centre of the solar system.  I think the only reason Galileo wasn’t tortured to death by the Holy Fathers of the Inquisition was that he was much loved by the people and a brilliant scientist. Nevertheless Galileo was forever alienated from his church, the pope, and the Jesuits in particular.

Luther was excommunicated by Pope Leo X, who dismissed him initially as “a drunken German who will change his mind when sober”.  Many thousands of the poor were tortured and killed in the purges that followed.  A brutal war erupted which divided Christendom; but it was not about religion, it was about POWER!  Nothing has changed in the 21st Century.

St Bartholomew's Day twitter


MERCY: St Bartholomew’s Day, Paris, 1572. ‘Ill-fated love affair between a Catholic & a Protestant’. John Everett Millais 1829-96. This is the day thousands of Protestants were slaughtered by Catholics.


-Anne Frandi-Coory  15 November 2013


The Abbess was of noble blood

Catholic Sisters of Mercy; four biological sisters.The nun on the right was the closest Anne Frandi-Coory came to a mother figure; her face is the one she remembers as an infant in a Catholic Orphanage nursery. (see ‘Whatever Happened To Ishtar?’)

But early took the veil and hood

Ere upon life she cast a look

Or knew the world that she forsook

Fair too she was, and kind had been

As she was fair, but ne’er had seen

For her a timid lover sigh

Nor knew the influence of her eye

Love, to her ear, was but a name

Combined with vanity and shame

Her hopes, her fears, her joys, were all

Bounded within the cloister wall:

The deadliest sin her mind could reach

Was of monastic rule the breach;

And her ambition’s highest aim

To emulate St Hilda’s fame

For this she gave her ample dower,

To raise the convent’s eastern tower;

For this, with carving rare and quaint,

She decked the chapel of the saint,

And gave the relic-shrine of cost,

With ivories and gems embost.

The poor her convent’s bounty blest,

The pilgrim in its halls found rest.

Black was her garb, her rigid rule

Reformed on Benedictine school;

Her cheek was pale, her form was spare;

Vigils, and penitence austere,

Had early quenched the life of youth,

But gentle was the dame in Sooth

From: Sir Walter Scott, ‘Marmion’, The Immolation of Constance De Beverley


My mother was a defeated nun and a defeated mother. She entered a convent to escape the inescapable: LIFE.  (See Previous Post: My Mother Was A Catholic Nun. 

For hundreds of years, young women and girls have been entering convents for various reasons.  Fathers and other patriarchs sent unmarriageable or unmanageable daughters into a cloistered life. Daughters whose mothers had died were also sentenced to life imprisonment, with or without their consent.

“A Drama of Science, Faith and Love”

Even Galileo, that illustrious 17th Century  scientist, and devout Catholic, confined his eldest daughter from the age of thirteen (1616)  to San Matteo convent in Arcetri.  His daughter, Virgina was deemed unmarriageable because her father had never married her mother, the beautiful Marina Gamba of Venice. Virginia (Sister Maria Celeste) lived out her life in poverty and seclusion in the convent (Order of St Clare) , as did her younger sister, Livia. Unlike Virginia, very little is heard from, or about, the “silent and strange” Livia.   Virginia  lost all her teeth by age 27  because of her lack of a nutritious diet.  It is worth reading  ‘Galileo’s Daughter’ by Dava Sobel, a gifted author, for more on these remarkable lives.  We know so much about Galileo and Virginia because of the correspondence between the two.  Ms Sobel also covers the horror of Galileo’s life and his banishment to house arrest in Ravenna, at the hands of the Holy Inquisition headed by Pope Paul V.

The Florentine poet, Dante Alighieri, was exiled from his beloved Florence in the early 14th Century by Pope Boniface Vlll (Cardinal Caetani), with support from the French.  Dante’s only daughter, Antonia, was confined to a convent in Ravenna where he was living at the time in 1320.  Antonia took the name Sister Beatrice, the name of Dante’s beloved.

In this day and age, the numbers of young Catholic women wishing to give up their freedom “for God” is dwindling.

What is worrying is that sexual harassment and abuse from priests and bishops continues, particularly in third world countries.  Rape is common because the clergy believe these nuns to be free from aids, unlike prostitutes. If the nuns’ abuse is uncovered, or they become pregnant, they are the ones to be thrown out onto the roads.

(See previous post  ‘Kiss of Betrayal’)

In an extreme case of double standards, always rife in the catholic Church, a nun at a Catholic hospital in Arizona was excommunicated because she approved an emergency abortion last year to save the life of a critically ill young patient.  Imagine the hundreds of  sexually abused girls and boys who could have been spared lives of misery, if paedophile priests had been excommunicated and reported to police, instead of being shifted around from parish to parish?


From the pen of  The Ethical Nag The Vatican has now launched an “apostolic visitation,” or investigation, of every one of America’s 60,000 religious sisters, accused with having what Vatican spokesman Cardinal Franc Rodé calls “a feminist spirit” and “a secular mentality”. At a time when the male leadership can be blamed for bringing the church to a state of global crisis, even the modest roles accorded to female clerics have come under attack from these men.

Not surprisingly, the appeal of joining a Catholic religious order as a career choice is plummeting. Fewer than 4% of North American Catholic women have even considered becoming a nun, according to 2008 data from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. And that’s less than half the number compared to just five years earlier.

And no wonder. Dr. Tina Beattie, who teaches Catholic Studies at Roehampton University in the U.K., gives far more disturbing examples of how the Vatican treats its nuns.  For example:

“In 2001, senior leaders of women’s religious orders presented evidence to Rome of the widespread rape and abuse of nuns by priests and bishops, with a particular problem in Africa which has no cultural tradition of celibacy, and where the threat of HIV and Aids means that priests are more likely to prefer sex with nuns than with prostitutes. The Vatican acknowledged the problem and there was a brief flurry of media interest, but this is a scandal which has disappeared without a trace.”

I don’t know whether any Mercy nuns were sexually abused by Catholic clergy when I was a child  in their care, but I well remember the awe and deference the nuns exhibited in the presence of priests, bishops, and cardinals.  Once I understood the hypocrisy and double standard encouraged by the Church’s teachings, I found these displays sickening.

-Anne Frandi-Coory 3 February 2011

Read more about ‘Whatever Happened To Ishtar?’  

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