“We are all guilty”

The culture of silence and secrecy must end. At an international meeting of religious superiors in Rome, religious superior Veronica Adeshola Openibo of Nigeria called for greater vigilance.

Nigerian religious superior Veronica Adeshola Openibo has called on Catholic women's orders to do more to combat sexual abuse and abuse of power. In many areas, the "culture of silence and secrecy" must be broken down even more, she said at a meeting of international religious superiors in Ariccia near Rome.

"We are all guilty," the church information service SIR (Thursday) quoted the religious woman as saying. Openibo urged her fellow sisters to "keep our eyes and ears open" for dialogue. "And when we see something, we have to say and do something."

Cooperation with state authorities

This would require defined procedures, in which state authorities would also have to be involved. Instead of reacting at best, as has been the case up to now, the orders would have to become active and fearlessly face up to the problem of abuse in the church and in society.

The superior of the "Society of the Holy Child Jesus," had participated in the anti-abuse summit convened by Pope Francis at the end of February in the Vatican. Her talk to bishops and other religious superiors had caused quite a stir.

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