Stories we may not want to hear

National Catholic Reporter

November 26, 2018

By Jeannine Gramick

This is not a feel-good article, so you might want to stop reading right now. With the report from the Pennsylvania grand jury about the sexual abuse of children by priests and the scandal of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sexual advances toward seminarians and youth, you may feel saturated by horrific stories and want to shut out any further disgusting accounts that should never have occurred. I know I feel that way. If you want to read no further, I sympathize with you. I, too, am exhausted by all the talk about sexual abuse. I feel weary of seeing article after article in almost every newspaper I pick up. I want to scream, “Enough already!”

But maybe not enough yet, because sexual exploitation has been perpetrated not only on boys and men, but also on women and nuns. In 1994, the late Sr. Maura O’Donohue submitted the results of a 23-nation survey about African nuns who were impregnated by priests who, in their fear of contracting AIDS, preyed upon nuns for safe sexual encounters. Unfortunately, O’Donohue’s reports, which were made public by the National Catholic Reporter in 2001, were never acted upon by the Vatican.

This year, a former superior general of the Missionaries of Jesus in India charged Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar, India, with sexually molesting her for several years. She took this action only after receiving no response from the Indian bishops and the apostolic nuncio in India.

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