On his return from the United Arab Emirates, Pope Francis admitted that priests and bishops in the Catholic Church had sexually abused nuns.
He responded to a question a journalist asked, “There are some priests and also bishops who have done it,” the pontiff said.
The papal admission followed a rare outcry last week from the Vatican’s women’s magazine over the sexual abuse of nuns by priests and religious sisters feeling forced to have abortions or raise children not recognised by their fathers.
The issue hit the headlines last year after a nun accused an Indian bishop of repeatedly raping her in a case that triggered rare dissent within the country’s Catholic Church.
He said the problem could be found “anywhere” but was prevalent in “some new congregations and in some regions”.
“I think it’s still going on, because it’s not something that just goes away like that. On the contrary,” he added.
He said the Church has “suspended several clerics” and the Vatican has been “working (on the issue) for a long time”.
“I don’t want to hear it said that the Church has not got this problem, because it has.
“Must we do more? Yes! Do we want to? Yes!” he said.