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Harrowing details of some 300 cases of alleged sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy in Belgium have been released by a Church investigator.
Peter Adriaenssens said cases of abuse, mostly involving minors, had been found in nearly every diocese, and 13 alleged victims had committed suicide.
The Catholic Church in Rome made the extraordinary admission yesterday that it is aware priests from at least 23 countries have been sexually abusing nuns.
Most of the abuse has occurred in Africa, where priests vowed to celibacy, who previously sought out prostitutes, have preyed on nuns to avoid contracting the Aids virus.
In extreme instances, the priests had made nuns pregnant and then encouraged them to have abortions.
The Vatican reports cited countless cases of nuns forced to have sex with priests. Some were obliged to take the pill, others became pregnant and were encouraged to have abortions. In one case in which an African sister was forced to have an abortion, she died during the operation and her aggressor led the funeral mass. Another case involved 29 sisters from the same congregation who all became pregnant to priests in the diocese.