Catholic Nuns’ Plea To End Indentured Servitude


The official Vatican magazine is this month promoting the cause of Catholic nuns. It spoke about the mistreatment of nuns who have to serve the male members of the Catholic church. The article appeared in Women Church World, a magazine written and edited by women that accompanies the Vatican’s official newspaper.

The article is about how nuns are required to work long hours for or cardinals and bishops inside the church. But despite their diligent labour, nuns are then treated badly.

“Some of them serve in the homes of bishops or cardinals, others work in the kitchens of church institutions or teach. Some of them, serving the men of the church, get up in the morning to make breakfast, and go to sleep after dinner is served, the house cleaned and the laundry washed and ironed,” says a passage in the article

They are not invited to sit at the tables they serve.

“Behind all this is the unfortunate idea that women are worth less than men, and above all that priests are everything in the church while sisters are nothing,” another nun, Sister Paul, said in the article.

Sister Marie said  that many nuns come from Africa, Asia or Latin America and from poor families, whose extended care is often paid for by their congregations. As a result, they feel they can’t complain about their work conditions, she said.

“This all creates in them a strong interior rebellion,” Sister Marie reported. “These sisters feel indebted, tied down, and so they keep quiet.”

The magazine’s editor said that until now nobody has spoke about such things. “We try to give a voice to those who don’t have the courage to say these words,” said the editor Lucetta Scaraffia.

Pope Francis has said that he reads and appreciates the magazine. However, it has raised eyebrows in the patriarchal Vatican system. It has advocated women’s rights to preach. This March, it is dedicated to Women and work and explores issues like  gender pay gap, the lack of women in leadership positions, and the “Ni Una Menos” movement to combat feminicide and violence against women.

Also Read: Pope Francis Encourages Women To Breast Feed In Vatican