Pope to nuns: You didn't become nuns to be cleaners for a clergyman, no!

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The pope met at the Vatican with the International Union of Superiors General. More than 800 superiors from different congregations have come to Rome for their plenary assembly.

They received the pope with enormous enthusiasm.

And also with some nervousness.

“I never imagined I would be at the right hand of the Father.”

Pope Francis decided to put aside his prepared speech and give a more spontaneous one instead.

He spoke to them about the commission that is studying female deacons during the early times of Christianity. It is a commission the International Union of Superiors General had requested. The pope told them he would give them the preliminary report. The experts continue to work on the issue, even though they hold different positions.

“I cannot make a sacramental vow without theological, historical foundation. However, there has been a lot of work, but there are little results. However, it is a step forward. Certainly there was a form of women deacons especially in Syria and in that area. In time I will call the members of the commission to find out the latest updates. On this theology of woman we must move forward.”

Pope Francis also spoke to them about the reality of abuses in the Church, the role of religious and answered some questions. He said he is aware of the abuses of power, conscience and sexuality that many religious have suffered. For this reason, he wanted to make this point clear.

“The abuse of nuns is a serious problem. I am also aware of it here in Rome. I am aware of the problems from the information that I receive. Not only of the sexual abuse of nuns, but the abuse of power and the abuse of conscience. We must fight against this.” 'Please, service yes, servitude no. You have not become religious to become the cleaners of a clergyman, no!”

This nun from South Sudan asked the pope if he will come to visit her country and see how it is there. 

“Maybe this year, it's not a promise. However, when I go to Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius maybe there's still time to go.”
“I want to go to South Sudan, it's in my heart.”

He also responded to an invitation made to him by another religious for the next plenary session of the Superiors General. It will be held in three years time.

“I will seriously considered it. However, if I will be alive to participate in the next assembly I don't know.”
“If I'm alive I will go. If not, remind the successor, eh!”

They ended this meeting by all praying the Regina Coeli together.

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