Nun warns Catholic leadership 'storm will not pass by' on clergy sexual abuse

Nun warns Catholic leadership 'storm will not pass by' on clergy sexual abuse
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A Nigerian nun urged members at a Vatican summit on clerical sexual abuse to quash the Catholic Church's culture of silence around misconduct.

Speaking at the summit in Vatican City on Saturday, Sister Veronica Openibo called reported sexual abuses at the hands of church leaders "atrocities" that Catholic leadership had failed to address, according to The Associated Press.

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“This storm will not pass by,” Openibo warned, according to the AP.

“How could the clerical church have kept silent, covering these atrocities?” she continued. “We must acknowledge that our mediocrity, hypocrisy and complacency have brought us to this disgraceful and scandalous place we find ourselves as a church.”

During her speech, Openibo, one of just a handful of women reportedly at the gathering, praised Pope Francis for convening the summit.

“I admire you, Brother Francis, for taking time as a true Jesuit, to discern and be humble enough to change your mind, to apologize and take action — an example for all of us,” she said, according to the AP.

Around 190 church leaders attended the four-day summit at the Vatican, which was called by Francis to address sexual abuse in Catholic ministries around the world.

The summit began with Francis presenting a 21-point plan to address sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, including proposals to raise the church's minimum marriage age to 16 and creating new investigative processes for sexual abuse claims.

"I ask the Holy Spirit to sustain us throughout these days, and to help us to turn this evil into an opportunity for awareness and purification," the pope said on Thursday, according to a press release.

"May the Virgin Mary enlighten us as we seek to heal the grave wounds that the scandal of paedophilia has caused, both in the little ones and in believers."