Rome — Pope Francis is hosting aon clergy sex abuse and much of the focus is on protecting minors. But new protections could help other victims too, including nuns.
Back when she was sister Doris Wagner, raped by a priest in her convent, the then 24-year-old nun from a poor German family felt silenced by the system.
"The experience of sexual abuse does not fit in what they tell you the 'life of a nun' should be like and any sister who will come to the point to understand that she has a right to speak out at it will be blamed and shamed and silenced by her own superiors and fellow sisters," Wagner said.
That's the case in India where, since September, five nuns have rallied in support of their sister, who claims she was raped by her bishop 13 times. Indian law protects the identity of the victim so the nun's sisters have raised their voices. Bishop Franco Mulakkal denies the charges.
The nuns have sent two letters to the Vatican's ambassador in India. But they got no reply.
Wager fears progress on protecting them is a long way off since bishops are just now discussing their accountability in protecting the most vulnerable: minors.
"Shouldn't they know that they are accountable? Why do we need a summit for that," Wagner asked.
She left her order of nuns and says, today, this majestic basilica is a symbol of power to silence victims.