Nuns Are Forced to Wash and Cook Meals by Priests: Cardinal

By Usha Ram Manohar
Press Trust of India
March 21, 2009

Kochi, Mar 21 (PTI) Nuns in the church are being discriminated against and treated shoddily by priests who force them to wash clothes and cook meals, a cardinal has claimed.

The candid admissions by Cardinal Mar Varkey Vithayathil, who is also the Major Archbishop of the Syro Malabar church, has been made in a book titled, 'Straight from the Heart', released recently.

"There have always been complaints that religious women are used as task force by parish priests. They just bear up the ill treatment, fearing the priests may not say Mass for them or fulfil their spiritual needs if they protested. These things are happening in a number of places," Vithyathail says.

"Religious women very often depend on bishops for land and money to start a convent. They feel they have to deal with priests and bishops with the utmost reverence, almost like slaves.

"A big complaint of our nuns is that the diocesan priests are treating them like servants, making them wash their clothes, prepare their food, wash the churches etc. And that too without getting paid. These are all unjust ways of treating women religious," he says.

The cardinal's insight into the lives of nuns in church comes close on the heels of a book by Sister Jasme, which created a storm in church circles.

Jasme had alleged sexual abuse, corruption and power struggles in the 'dark confines' of a convent she had lived in for 30 years. PTI


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