Lucetta Scaraffia: the woman behind the Vatican women's magazine

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Through a Vatican publication, promoted by Scaraffia, it became known that sexual abuse by priests to nuns still occurs

Lucetta Scaraffia: the woman behind the Vatican women's magazine

During this last week, the name of Lucetta Scaraffia has sounded in several international media. The reason? Not only is the director of Donne, Chiesa, Mondo (Woman, Church, and World), a supplement to the traditional Vatican magazine, L'Obsservatore Romano, but she also is responsible for denouncing a scandal in the February issue of sexual abuse towards the nuns, committed by priests.

Leer en español: Lucetta Scaraffia: la mujer detrás de la revista femenina del Vaticano

The magazine, which is published every month, states that this type of scandal is not a new situation and that the reason why not many women dare to denounce is because of the reprisals they can take against them. Like a case, last year, where an Associated Press investigation came to light, and sexual abuses of nuns in Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia were reported.

At that time, many of the victims were driven to denounce, thanks to the #MeToo movement, "and by the growing recognition that adults can be victims of sexual abuse when there is an imbalance of power in a relationship", as says The Excelsior. However, at the time, "the international association of religious orders of women induced the sisters to denounce abuses to their superiors and the police", according to El Día.

On the other hand, the article also highlights that in 1990, several nuns presented reports to Vatican officials reporting sexual abuse against nuns perpetrated by priests in Africa, with the excuse that they were "safe" in the midst of the HIV crisis. 

Scaraffia managed to put on the table a theme that is often forgotten by the Church. Scaraffia is a historian and proposed the creation of the magazine to Pope Benedict XVI. "My goal in launching the magazine was to give a voice to the women of the Church, and to make it understood that women, who in the Church do not seem to exist, do, however, many things and have many things to say", she said in a statement in an interview with BBC World.

Likewise, she considers herself a feminist, is against the clericalization of women, and is clear that "the Church has not appointed a commission to prove that the problem exists. The condition of women in the Church must change". It ends affirming in the interview made by El Clarín that "while women are abused by priests, they will never be respected".

You may be interested in reading: Is there really justice for victims of sexual abuse?

The Pope pronounces

After knowing the edition, Pope Francis recognized, for the first time in public, "that priests and bishops have used the nuns as 'sexual slaves'", as RT states. In the same way, he promised to do more about the situation.

In this regard, Scaraffia believes that the current pope has done a lot for women within the Vatican, but it the Vatican who does not want women to be visible.

"Francisco modified forgiveness in the process of abortion before you had to resort to a bishop to have absolution, while now you can give it any cure. (...) I love Pope Francis very much and I am very grateful to him, he has opened very important paths. But I think he cannot do more for women more than he has done", she said in an interview for the BBC.

The response of the Vatican

One day after the pope came out to accept that there were cases of sexual abuse within the Church, Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said the pope "spoke of 'sexual slavery' to mean 'manipulation' or a type of abuse of power that is reflected in sexual abuse", as reported by TeleMundo.

It is not the first time that this type of denunciations reaches the press or the Vatican. With the recognition of Pope Francis, a new chapter is opened to see if decisive measures are taken against priests or bishops who have sexually abused nuns.


LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz

Translated from "Lucetta Scaraffia: la mujer detrás de la revista femenina del Vaticano"

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