Coronavirus kills many nuns, monks

This 3 May 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Sixth nun dies from coronavirus complications at Our Lady of the Angels convent

Sister Josephine Seier, 94, died Friday. According to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner, a post-mortem test revealed she tested positive for COVID-19.

Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad reports today that COVID-19 is killing many people in monasteries.

In Bijdorp monastery in Voorschoten, four nuns and one friar have died this May.

In the Sisters of Charity nunnery in Tilburg, during two weeks in April, 13 out of 128 nuns died.

Also in Tilburg, four friars of the Brothers of Our Lady Mother of Mercy, including a former superior general, died.

In the Sisters of Charity nunnery in Schijndel, four nuns died.

In the monastery in Zenderen, COVID-19 killed two monks of the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, including the prior, and infected three more.

Some good coronavirus news: the anti-coronavirus measures not only mean less coronavirus deaths, but also less patients infected with other contagious diseases. Among Dutch children, norovirus infections have become 70-80% less since the partial lockdown.

Child abuse in Roman Catholic religious order

This 2016 video about the Legion of Christ child abuse affair is called Scandal at the Vatican.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

VATICAN: The Legion of Christ religious order identified 33 of its priests and 71 of its seminarians as guilty of sexual abuse in a study published at the weekend.

The order enjoyed huge power under pope John Paul II, despite the Vatican holding documentary evidence that its founder Marcial Maciel was a paedophile.

John Paul II’s secretary of state Cardinal Angelo Sodano long blocked any investigation into the Legion.

Pope Francis accepted his resignation as dean of the College of Cardinals on Saturday.

FBI OPENS SWEEPING PROBE OF CLERGY SEX ABUSE IN NEW ORLEANS The FBI has reportedly opened a widening investigation into sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in New Orleans going back decades, looking specifically at whether priests took children across state lines to molest them. The probe could deepen the legal peril for the Archdiocese of New Orleans as it reels from a bankruptcy brought on by a flood of sex abuse lawsuits. [AP]

Vatican in financial trouble

This March 2017 live punk rock music video is called The Damned – Anti-Pope.

That song, about the Roman Catholic church and money, is orginally from 1979.

So, when John Paul II was pope. Later, it turned out that this right-wing religious leader was not only declared to be a saint by the church, but was also involved in various cover-ups of child abuse. Like his also right-wing successor Benedict XVI was similarly involved.

Now, scandals from the days of these popes come to haunt the present pope Francis I.

Translated from Dutch daily De Volkskrant today:

Money problems and scandals plague the Vatican

The series of abuse scandals is now also affecting the Vatican. Donations are decreasing and, moreover, those decreasing amounts of money are poorly managed. That is what the Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi says in a book published this week. News about financial mismanagement and money shortages seems to support his findings.

By Charlotte Klein

If the pontificate of Pope Francis fails, Nuzzi writes in his book Guidizio universale (“Last Judgment”), it will not be because of the attacks by conservative Catholics or the worldwide decline in the number of believers, but because of “the financial collapse that is getting closer’. The journalist bases that on three thousand pages of documents that he has collected since 2013. The fact that according to AP news agency the Vatican has not published a budget since 2015 is only fueling the rumors.

Financial mismanagement, a reduction in donations, money laundering and corruption is said to lead to this collapse. …

Discussion is possible about Nuzzi’s claim that the Vatican is heading for bankruptcy in 2023. But it is almost certain that the mini-state is struggling with financial deficits, partly due to the way the Vatican generates income. The state does not collect taxes but receives contributions from dioceses, income from popular museums, donations from believers and income from real estate.

The latter two now cause the biggest problems. Due to the sexual abuse scandals, worldwide donations have fallen dramatically, writes Nuzzi, especially from the United States. According to Nuzzi, the Peter’s Pence, the annual gift of millions of euros from Catholics to Vatican City, is on its way down.

Luxury apartments in London

The Financial Times also writes that around 150 million euros have been used in a Swiss bank account of the Vatican for the purchase of luxury apartments in London. This controversial purchase, which resulted in a huge profit for the original seller, was made under the direction of Cardinal Becciu. He is now under fire, also because of other substantial foreign investments.

The Vatican police therefore started an internal investigation at the beginning of October and invaded two important departments: the Financial Information Service (AIF) and the State Secretariat. Documents and computers were seized. The Vatican police suspect money laundering, fraud and corruption.

The five employees allegedly involved in these malpractices were suspended after the Italian magazine L’Espresso had published leaked documents about them. Domenico Giani, the Pope’s main bodyguard and head of the Vatican police, also offered his resignation. He was succeeded by Giuseppe Pignatone.

Pignatone was a prosecutor in Rome until last May and played a major role in the Italian fight against the Mafia. This crime fighter must now put things in order in the Vatican. It seems to be the next step of Pope Francis to reform the Catholic Church from within.

Irish Magdalene Laundries survivor wins compensation fight

This 3 November 2017 video says about itself:

Slave Labour: Magdalene Laundries disgraced Irish Catholic women

For almost 150 years thousands of women in Ireland were sent to live in Catholic institutions, punished for crimes like having a child out of wedlock or petty theft.

Steve Humphries’ Sex In a Cold Climate, a documentary denouncing the Magdalene Asylums, which were operated by Catholic nuns in Ireland for over 100 years.

The Magdalene Laundries in Ireland, also known as Magdalene asylums, were institutions of confinement, usually run by Roman Catholic orders.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

IRELAND: Magdalene Laundries survivor Mary Cavner has won a battle for compensation after spending six years in one of the notorious Catholic-run workhouses as a child.

She grew up in Cork and was placed in the care of nuns at the age of 11 when her father died. She was denied an education and left malnourished.

At least 10,000 young women passed through the Magdalene Laundries between 1922 and 1996. They were locked up and forced to work for no pay in collusion with the state.

Belgian cardinal Godfried Danneels dies

This 11 September 2010 video by Australian broadcasting organisation ABC says about itself:

Pedophile Horrors in Belgium In Church, Politics, Social Services

No congregation escaped Belgian sex abuse. “It’s the Church’s Dutroux”, referring to mid-1990s trauma in Belgium + arrest of serial rapist / child killer Marc Dutroux, serving life for six rapes and four murders.

Read more here.

The video is also about the ‘Legionaries of Christ‘, an international Roman Catholic order, founded by a pedophile priest with close connections to Pope John Paul II.

Translated from Belgian (Roman Catholic) daily De Standaard today:

Cardinal Godfried Danneels, Archbishop Emeritus of Mechelen-Brussels, died Thursday morning in Mechelen. Cardinal Jozef De Kesel reports this. Danneels was 85 years old. …

The role that Danneels played in the abuse case of Bruges bishop Roger Vangheluwe in 2010 is a blot on his career. Recorded conversations that Danneels had with Vangheluwe and a victim showed that Danneels had tried to cover up the affair.

The Standaard might have added the discovery during a police raid in Danneels’ archiepiscopal palace of secret photos about the scandal of Belgian child rapist and murderer Marc Dutroux.

Evidence of clergy sexual abuse destroyed, cardinal admits

This 23 February 2019 video says about itself:

Italy: Sex abuse survivors protest in Rome as abuse summit continues

Adult survivors of child sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy hit the streets of Rome on Saturday to express their anger at failures to protect children from predators, as a four-day conference on clerical sexual abuse continues in the Holy See.

Survivors marched while calling for “zero tolerance” of sexual crimes against children in the Church. Among them were hearing-impaired former students of Verona’s Antonio Provolo Institute for the Deaf, the site of numerous reported sexual abuse accusations. Former students of the school held up signs demanding compensation.

On Thursday, 190 Church leaders from around the world gathered at the Holy See for a four-day summit on clerical sexual abuse called by Pope Francis.

On Saturday, German Cardinal Reinhard Marx reportedly told the summit that procedures to prosecute offenders were deliberately not observed.

From CNN:

Top Catholic cardinal admits church destroyed documents on clergy sexual abuse

By Daniel Burke and Rosa Flores

Updated 1620 GMT (0020 HKT) February 23, 2019

Rome – In a remarkable admission, German Cardinal Reinhard Marx said Saturday that documents that could have contained proof of clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church were destroyed or never drawn up.

Probably, extreme right cardinals who blame LGBTQ people and the pope for clerical child abuse, will now vilify their colleague Marx as a ‘Cultural Marxist‘, because of his name [sarcasm off].

“Files that could have documented the terrible deeds and named those responsible were destroyed or not even created,” said Marx, the archbishop of Munich and president of the German Bishops’ Conference.

“The stipulated procedures and processes for the prosecution offenses were deliberately not complied with,” he added, “but instead canceled and overridden.

“Such standard practices will make it clear that it is not transparency which damages the church, but rather the acts of abuse committed, the lack of transparency, or the ensuing coverup.”

Marx’s stunning admission came on the third day of a historic Vatican summit focused on combating clergy sexual abuse. The day’s theme was transparency, which Marx said could help to tackle abuse of power.

A member of Pope Francis‘ inner circle of advisers, Marx is one of the most powerful men in the Catholic Church.

The four-day summit of 190 Catholic leaders, including 114 bishops from around the world, will conclude Sunday with an address by Pope Francis. On Thursday, at the beginning of the unprecedented summit, Francis urged the bishops to take “concrete measures” to combat the clergy abuse scandal.

At a press conference later Saturday, Marx said that the information about destroying files came from a study commissioned by German bishops in 2014. The study was “scientific” and did not name the particular church leaders or dioceses in Germany that destroyed the files.

“The study indicates that some documents were manipulated or did not contain what they should have contained,” Marx said. “The fact in itself cannot be denied.”

Marx said he doubts the destruction of files related to clergy sexual abuse was limited to one diocese.

“I assume Germany is not an isolated case.”

The report commissioned by the German bishops also revealed that “at least” 3,677 cases of child sex abuse by German clergy occurred between 1946 and 2014.

CNN’s Lauren Said-Moorhouse and Livvy Doherty contributed to this report.

Priests’, bishops’ sexual abuse of nuns

This 2009 video from India says about itself:

Unholy secrets: A nun’s autobiography

Sister Jesme in Kerala has written a book to reveal the sexual abuse in the cloisters, of how she was abused by priests and even fellow sisters during her years in convent.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV, 5 February 2019:

Pope Francis is determined to end the sexual abuse of nuns by priests and bishops. He said this on a question from a journalist during a flight from Abu Dhabi to Rome.

The reason for the question was an article in a monthly magazine of the Vatican about abuse of nuns within the Catholic Church. “It is true”, said the Pope. “There are priests and even bishops who have done this. I think it is still going on because something does not stop just because you have become aware of it.”

He pointed out that priests were suspended because of the abuse of nuns and that his predecessor Pope Benedict in 2005 disbanded a female monastic order because of sexual abuse and corruption. A spokesman for the Vatican told Reuters news agency that this was a French monastic order.

The French monastic order with abuse and corruption problems was the Contemplative Sisters of Saint John (the United States branch of that order, founded after its French origin, still exists). Nuns have accused clerics of sexual abuse in India, Africa, Latin America and in Italy: here.

Catholic nuns protest alleged rape by a bishop in the southern state of Kerala in India [File: AP]

This photo shows Roman Catholic nuns protesting alleged rape by a bishop in the southern state of Kerala in India.

Pope says priests’ abuse of nuns went as far as “sexual slavery“: here.

Pope admits clerical abuse of nuns including sexual slavery: here.

HuffPost reporters Jessica Blank and Carol Kuruvilla dove into abuse allegations of nuns and Catholic sisters. Although it’s rarer than abuse by priests or monks, one subject of their story, a nun named Trish Cahill, a survivor of nun abuse, believes it goes under reported. Gender stereotypes about female perpetrators of abuse make it much harder to see the broader picture: here.

Clerical rape survivors speak

This February 2018 video says about itself:

Megan Peterson Goes Public About Being Raped By A Priest

Priest Jeyapaul‘s survivor Megan Peterson goes public and speaks to Real Women Real Stories: Church ignores crimes against children, or worse, hides them. Megan Peterson was assaulted by priest Joseph Jeyapaul when she was 14 years old. The Vatican and its lack of respect for victims of sexual abuse continues.

***IMPORTANT MESSAGE: The recent changes over at YouTube have pulled out the rug from under us and our channel has been hit the hardest. WE NEED YOU.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

“You do not know what happens to you.” The now 74-year-old Theo Bruyns was raped around the age of 12 in a seminary, an ecclesiastical school. He therefore filed a complaint against the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope last month.

“This has been going on for centuries“, says Bruyns in the De Dag podcast. “It is organized crime.” From the statement ‘Wir haben es nicht gewußt’ by Cardinal Simonis he also got the jitters. “Everyone has always known and the church gets away with it.”

News-hour reporter Marijn Duintjer Tebbens, who traveled with the Pope during the World Youth Days in Panama, thinks that Francis has underestimated the issue. “The will to tackle it is there, but it stumbles upon resistance within the walls of the Vatican.”

Roman Catholic forced labour, forced abortions for girls

This 2009 video from Ireland says about itself:

The Good Shepherd Convent, Magdalen Asylum, Sunday’s Well, Cork opened on the 29th July 1872. It remained the site of orphanage, Magdalen laundry until the late 1970s.

The buildings have been derelict ever since a serious fire in 2003. The laundry was one of buildings that were destroyed. The existence of the Magdalen asylums was little thought of until, in 1993, when an order of nuns in Dublin sold part of their convent to a real estate developer.

The shocking discovery of 155 inmates buried in unmarked graves was made, all were exhumed and with the exception of one body were cremated and re-interred in a communal grave. This triggered a public scandal and became local and national news in 1999.

Mary Norris, Josephine McCarthy and Mary-Jo McDonagh, all asylum inmates, gave accounts of their treatment. The 1998 Channel 4 documentary Sex in a Cold Climate interviewed former inmates of Magdalen Asylums who testified to continued sexual, psychological and physical abuse while being isolated from the outside world for an indefinite amount of time.

The conditions in the Good Shepherd Convent, Magdalen Laundry Asylum, and treatment of the inmates was dramatized in the acclaimed film The Magdalene Sisters (2002), written and directed by Peter Mullan.

The full name of this organisation is The Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, also known as the Magdalene Sisters.

Translated from Dutch daily NRC, 18 January 2019

‘Catholic congregation is liable for forced labor of girls’

Sisters of the Good Shepherd

Nuns violated European human rights treaty with forced labor of girls. If there is no settlement, then a lawsuit will follow.

By Joep Dohmen

January 18, 2019

Forty-four women who were forced to do forced labor in laundries and sewing workshops of the sisters of the Good Shepherd, held the Catholic congregation to account this week. They demand recognition of abuses, payment of wages and compensation for material and immaterial damage. In the statement of liability sent on Thursday, the sisters are accused of violating the European Convention on Human Rights by imprisoning the girls and forcing them into unpaid work. If there is no amicable settlement within six weeks, then a lawsuit will follow, says their lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld.

The claim comes after the disclosure in NRC last year that at least 15,000 girls and women in the Netherlands did forced labor between 1860 and 1978 in the so-called “love institutions” of the sisters in Zoeterwoude, Tilburg, Velp and Almelo.

Reports about exploitation by the nuns previously became known in France, Australia, Canada, the US, Germany and Ireland. In Ireland, the government started independent research. The victims received compensation from the government. The nuns refused to pay.

In the Netherlands the congregation refused last year to also accommodate victims financially. According to the congregation, their claim “has been time-barred” for a long time. Zegveld: “The question is whether the congregation is protected by a time bar. After all, it was an international system of exploitation and abuse.”

The 44 women stayed from 1948 to the end of the nineteen seventies in one or more institutions of the sisters. They were between 10 and 21 years old at the time. Zegveld: “They had to work under threat of punishment and against their will. Six days a week, eight hours a day. ”

The girls worked in sewing workshops, laundries, ironing rooms, and did housework. The institutions were closed. Zegveld: “There was punishment for resistance to work, running away, resting or working slowly.” The sisters are also accused of sabotaging the girls’ education and submitting to “psychological abuse and neglect”.

Furthermore, there is the accusation of physical violence. Zegveld: “Some have been aborted forcibly with violence.

Abortion, according to official Roman Catholic doctrine, is a terrible crime. A Spanish archbishop believes that one is allowed to rape women who have had an abortion. Apparently, if abortion is done forcibly at the orders of a Catholic congregation, then it suddenly ceases to be a crime.

The self-styled ‘March for Life’ is a religious fundamentalist right-wing march against women’s rights, especially against women’s reproductive rights, eg on abortion. These religious misogynists call themselves ‘pro-life’. Which is hypocritical, as they are usually pro-Pentagon wars all over the world. And usually pro-the racist death penalty. And often for other forms of racism, as Kentucky far-right Roman Catholics showed recently by insulting Native Americans.

Others had to give up their children.” The group is supported by fellow survivors’ organization VPKK. It wants the government to conduct an independent investigation, just like in Ireland. Minister Dekker (Justice, VVD) refuses that. VPKK board member Annemie Knibbe: “He says it has been researched before, which is simply not true.”

Sexual abuse drives Catholics out of church, pope says

This video from Germany says about itself:

Catholic Church in Germany releases sex abuse report

24 September 2018

It’s believed to cover a 70 year period and follows various reports of sexual abuse in Germany.

A four-year investigation into the sexual abuse of children in the German Catholic Church is to publish its findings. Our Berlin Correspondent Jessica Saltz gives us more details about this scandal.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Pope: abuse scandals drive people out of the church

The abuse scandals in the Catholic Church shock believers and drive them out of the church. That is what the Pope said today on the last day of his visit to the Baltic states. The church must change if it wants to keep future generations, he said.

The Pope’s statements coincide with a new report on decades of sexual abuse and its cover-up in Germany.

To a large group of young people in Estonia, the Pope said that he knows that many young people feel that the church has nothing to offer them and does not understand their problems. “They are furious about the sexual and economic scandals without clear condemnation, and about the fact that we are not willing to really understand the lives and sensitivities of young people.”

“We ourselves must be converted”, said the Pope. “In order to be able to stand next to you, we have to realize that we have to change a lot.”


With these pronouncements, the Pope recognizes for the first time publicly the failure of the approach to sexual abuse.

Today, a report was published at the German bishops’ conference showing that almost 3700 people in Germany were abused by clergy between 1946 and 2014. More than half were 13 or younger at the time, and nearly a third of them were altar boys.

According to the report, evidence in these cases has been destroyed or manipulated. Many cases have never been brought to justice and abusers have been transferred, without their past having been made known.

Cardinal Marx, as the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany, said at the presentation of the report that things are not finished right now, but are just beginning.

“For far too long there have been lies about abuse in the church, looking away and cover-ups, and for all these failures and pain I apologize”, said Marx. “I am ashamed of destroying trust and of the crimes that people have been subjected to by church officials.”