DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     December 13, 1999     vol. 10, no. 236

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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STRENGTH OF A NUN TO COPE WITH RAPE

Prayer Helps to Understand the Violence against Women during Wars

        MILAN, DEC 9 (ZENIT).- The quiet days of reflection and adoration in a Laveno, Italy, convent were jarred by the intrusion of cruel and senseless violence. While the Benedictine nuns of Perpetual Adoration were eating dinner, six youths boke into the hose and raped the Prioress, the youngest of the six nuns in the community.

        "They wanted money to buy drugs. But later they reacted violently, perhaps resentful of having found persons who are pure of heart," the Prioress said.

        The Laveno monastery is destined to disappear, according to the reorganization plans of the Federation of Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration to which it belongs. In spite of the terrible experience, the Mother Prioress did not want to leave the community at this time of trial, preferring to stay with her Sisters, who have been profoundly affected by what happened.

        On the contrary, she has the strength to analyze the event with a dimension of hope: "How can we fail to understand the women of Bosnia now, or those who are victims of rape during wars, who have seen their dignity trampled... I am living this painful experience with serenity, trying to resolve it in prayer."

        According to Mother Giovanna, first adviser of the Presidential Council of the Federation of Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, in speaking to the Sisters about the crime in the monastery of Laveno, she said: "We realize the commitment exacted from us by our cloistered consecration in face of the great confusion that men and women of our time are living in." She added, "We are like everyone else. The convent's grating does not protect us against the lack of values and the snares of evil. On the contrary, it make us companions on the way of wounded humanity, at this time of strong human and spiritual fragility." ZE99120905


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December 13, 1999       volume 10, no. 236
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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