Former nuns “abandoned” by the Catholic Church, including some who became prostitutes to survive, have been sheltered at a Vatican residence for more than a year, a Brazilian cardinal said.
Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz confirmed the house’s existence at an undisclosed location in the Vatican City during an interview for the February issue of the Vatican’s magazine Women Church World.
In the wide-ranging interview about women’s roles in the Church, Cardinal Braz said existence of the home underscored Pope Francis’ desire to rectify abuses within the Church, such as nuns who are expelled from their convents with nowhere to go. “At times they are completely abandoned,” the cardinal said, according to an advance copy of the issue released on January 23.
“But things are changing. The most significant example is precisely the Pope’s decision to establish in Rome a house to welcome in from the street nuns who were sent away by us, or by the superiors, especially if they are foreigners.”
Cardinal Braz said he had visited the home, and had found “a world of wounds there, but also of hope.” In some cases, mother superiors had withheld documents from nuns who wanted to leave the convent, and in others nuns were just told to depart.