The other day the popular television show, Washington Journal, had as a guest a lady, one representing a Catholic group, who was answering questions about the role of the Catholic Church with regards to birth control. I dialed the call in number for the show, the screener asked what my question was, and then put me on air to ask same. My question was simply how can the Catholic Church deny birth control to lay persons, even those not Catholic, when historically the Church, through it's priests, have advocated same and even abortion when these certain priests needed to protect themselves from the result of their own sexual misconduct. The woman's jaw dropped, which I took as a denial of these facts. Before the guest speaker could even pick her jaw up off the floor, I was disconnected. I was silenced.
I didn't get the chance to mention how Sister Marie McDonald, Superior of the Missionaries of Our Lady of Africa, in her report to the Vatican prepared through consultation with Congregations of Religious and National Conferences in Africa, titled "The Problem Of The Sexual Abuse Of African Religious In Africa And In Rome" and leaked to the National Catholic Reporter, said exactly just that:
"Sexual harassment and even rape of sisters by priests and bishops is allegedly common. Sometimes, when a sister becomes pregnant, the priest insists that she have an abortion. The sister is usually dismissed from her congregation while the priest is often only moved to another parish -- or sent for studies."
Sister McDonald, in her reporting to the Vatican also included a quote by an African Vicar General explaining "Celibacy in the African context means a priest does not get married, but does not mean he does not have children".
Nor did I get the chance to mention how Julian Assange, when hacking documents, documents the Church refuses to release even to a Court of law, regarding abuse of children at the hands of priests and the cover up of same, came across the official Vatican response to Sister McDonald's report:
"In a rare statement acknowledging fault, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said March 20 that there was a problem of sexual abuse of nuns by priests in some missionary territories. He said the Vatican was working to correct the situation. The statement was in response to a March 16 article in U.S. Catholic Weekly, National Catholic Reporter that cited four reports by senior members of women's religious orders asserting that sexual abuse of nuns by priests, including rape was a serious problem.."
Sister McDonald has not been the only nun to speak out. Sister Maura O'Donohoe had this to report regarding a priest who insisted an abortion be performed to cover his own sins:
"She died during the procedure and the priest officiated at the Requiem Mass.."