On his return to Rome from the United Arab Emirates, Pope Francis responded to the questions journalists asked. One was about sexual abuse cases against religious sisters and women, including those committed by clergy members.
“It’s true, within the Church there have been clerics who have done this. In some cultures, it's been a little stronger than in others. It is not something that all have done. There have been priests and also bishops who have done it. I believe it may still be being done. It’s not something that from the moment you realize it, it’s over. It continues like this. We’ve been working on this for a long time. We’ve suspended some clerics, sent them away for this. Also – even if I don’t know if the process is finished – we've dissolved some women’s religious congregations that were very tied up in this form of corruption.
I cannot say that 'in my house this does not happen,' it's true? Do we have to do something else? Yes. Do we have the desire to do it? Yes. We've already done some things.
Pope Benedict had the courage to dissolve a female congregation where this slavery had entered into against women, including sexual slavery on the part of clerics or founders. Many times the founders take away freedom, rid the sisters of freedom and reach this point. About Pope Benedict, I would like to emphasize that he is a man who had the courage to do many things about this.'