LCWR: No “dialogue” about discussion about sexual abuse by nuns…

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The day after The Motley Monk posted “Cracking Down on the LCWR: Is Orthodoxy the Only Problem?” at The American Catholic, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, (SNAP) staged a protest outside of the meeting of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in St. Louis.




According to Steve Theisen of Iowa SNAP who was sexually victimized by a nun as a child:

The scandal of child molesting nuns takes a backseat to abuse by priests, remaining dangerously in the shadows.  More and more, we’re hearing from men and women who were molested, as young kids and vulnerable adults, by nuns across the country. Yet nun officials have done little to determine just how widespread such crimes and cover ups are or take effective steps to stop them in the future.


Isn’t that exactly what the leaders of the LCWR have been saying about the bishops?

According to SNAP’s Director, David Clohessy, LCWR has not responded to SNAP’s repeated prodding to let childhood sexual victims speak at the nun’s conference,  to actively reach out to victims of nun abuse, and to post the names, photos and whereabouts of proven, admitted, and credibly accused child molesting nuns on church websites.  Clohessy writes:

It’s ironic that the LCWR makes the same excuses for inaction now what bishops used 20 years ago.  They make essentially bureaucratic claims like “our structure doesn’t permit us to do more” and their meetings are not “the best venue” to address these issues. It’s very disheartening.


As The Motley Monk also noted, there’s also not much the main stream media is reporting about the issue of clergy sex crimes and cover ups by nuns.  According to SNAP’s Outreach Director, Barbara Dorris:

It’s stunning, really, to see nuns moving more timidly and slowly on child sex crimes and cover ups than bishops.   Abuse by nuns is certainly more common than anyone suspects, and inaction by nuns’ groups contributes to this secrecy.



To read The Motley Monk’s post “Cracking Down on the LCWR: Is Orthodoxy the Only Problem?,” click on the following link:

To read David Clohessy’s post, click on the following link:

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  1. Weren’t we assured that if women had leadership roles in the Church, stonewalling on sexual abuse would never happen? How could Enlightened Opinion have been so wrong?

  2. SNAP…..who can take them seriously after the debacle in Missouri…….I believe SNAP has an agenda but it is not to help abuse victims. What they are all about is money and bringing down the Church. Anyone who sympathizes with SNAP should read the following about David Clohessy:

    If the nuns are guilty of child abuse they should be punished but SNAP lacks the credibiity to even raise the question.

  3. The mainstream narrative is going to have a problem with this. The “mean nun with a ruler” and “the innocent nun picked on by the Vatican” don’t mesh. In a pinch, I suppose they could make the old nun in a habit the abuser, and turn the younger (at the time) LCWR nun into a modernist hero, but that might be too complicated. The narrative likes two word sentences. Priests bad. Pope bad. Nuns…mixed? human? Nah.

  4. Let the LCWR, SNAP, and the media all wrestle in the mud over this. They’ll
    only end up covered in dirt and looking ridiculous. To me, none of the three
    parties have much credibility.

  5. Now that professional victim David Clohessy is running out of deceased priests to keep his organization in business, he is now extending his mission to go after senior citizen nuns. That should keep him and his bottom feeding lawyer friends busy for years to come.

  6. At one point, I was party to a conversation with a large number of geeky males.
    More than half had been molested as young teens by female teachers. (no, they didn’t phrase it that way. Does our culture allow it?)

    NONE had been molested by male anythings, although a few mentioned having rebuffed male predators.

    Yet, somehow, being raped by a 30 year old woman is not as bad as being raped by a 30 year old man. Heck, being assaulted by a 20 year old woman is not as bad as being INSULTED by a 20 year old man, even in the Navy. (Sorry, still bitter. I couldn’t even get anybody to get the open lesbians to turn off the loud metal music after hours, let alone respond to what would’ve been assault from a male. And no, I wasn’t strong enough to push up to anyone who might have done something.)

    It’s sad. Ironic, and sad. A lot of ironic things are sad.

  7. Foxfier,

    There’s never any excuse for someone homosexual or not to try to force someone to engage in a sex act, unfortunately it is not uncommon. I went into the Navy a few weeks after my 18th birthday. I was assigned to a destroyer escort that was being refitted in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. It was scheduled to go on a 6 month Med cruise as soon as the refit was done.

    I no more than arrived on the boat when a homosexual cabal, made up of senior enlisted men, tried to force me into their group through intimidation. Luckily I had prior experience dealing with unwanted homosexual advances and recognized what was going on so I went to a senior officer and explained that unless something was done I would go AWOL before the boat left for the Med. About three weeks later 5 or 6 guys were taken off the boat in handcuffs as a result of somekind of undercover investigation. Apparently they had a long history of abusing young new sailors. As I was growing up I had several other run-ins with aggressive homosexuals/ephebophiles but new enough to and was big enough to get away from them.

    Since my military service I have met many homosexuals. While I completely disagree with their lifestyle I became friends with a number of them. They are great, caring people and not sexual predators. I made sure they know exactly how I feel about homosexuality.

    One thing for sure… can’t let these experiences dominate you life….time to move on.

  8. Robart:

    Great, insightful post. That is exactly what this group is doing. This time I think they will have a hard time since the LCWR and member groups act very independently of the Vatican and they ain’t got no $$$$$$$$$$$$. Before this is done I think we will see David Clohessy brought up on criminal charges.

  9. No domination of my life here– just disgusted and angry at how something if done by a man is jail-worthy, but if done by a woman it’s laughed off; lesbian only came into it with me being a target. As I pointed out, the guys had been raped by women and it was supposed to be laughed off.
    That’s wrong, and disgusting.

    Good on you breaking up the rape ring.

  10. Foxfier,

    Who’s laughing anything off. Sexual injustices have been with us since the beginning of time. If you are supporting SNAP’s effort to attack the LCWR and nuns I want incontrovertable evidence not more of SNAP developed witnesses.

  11. Reading the comments, The Motley Monk would note that David Clohessy isn’t the issue.

    The issue is what the LCWR leadership has done and continues to do in order to avoid addressing the issue of pedophile/ephebophile nuns.

    Checkered as his motives may be, Clohessy has attempted to get some transparency concerning this issue with LCWR for years. Talk all the LCWR leadership wants about how the bishops completely failed in terms of moral leadership concerning pedophile/ephebophile priests, they seem to have little or no interest in holding themselves to the same exacting standard.

    The Motley Monk would also note that it is no less morally repugnant for a heterosexual female to prey upon a young heterosexual male or a heterosexual male to prey upon a young heterosexual female than if a homosexual female or male does the same to a young person who is heterosexual or homosexual. Both violate another person’s human dignity solely for the purpose of fulfilling one’s sexual desires. That’s what makes both equally morally repugnant.

    It is interesting to note, however, that people differentiate between the two, making the former less reprehensible, perhaps thinking one “natural” and the other “unnatural.”

  12. Mike M –
    It doesn’t matter that people have been raped since time began when noticing that folks getting raped has a chasm between responses based on the sex of the assailant.

    Since I didn’t say anything about the credibility of SNAP, I’m not sure why you’re acting like I used them as evidence. I am pointing out that the lack of response is a culture wide sickness.

  13. MIke Petrik, The word heresay was a bad choice on my part but I think the accusers have need to be vetted…..SNAP’s past of bringing for accusations from people with ‘recovered memories’ or seriously bad backgrounds make one suspicious.

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