Abuse by nuns is ignored

Last week, another child molesting nun was publicly exposed. She’s Sister Agnes Daniels, who worked at St. Mary School in Boston when she reportedly committed the abuse. (Thanks to attorney Mitchell Garabedian for disclosing the accusations.)


In July, two other abusive nuns were publicly exposed: Sister Agnes Santomassimo and Sister Mary Joseph. Both allegedly molested in California. (Santomassimo also worked in Chicago. Joseph also worked in Idaho, Arizona and Washington state.)

(Thanks to attorney Tony Demarco for disclosing the accusations.)


(In all three cases, Catholic officials settled cases with victims of these nuns.)

And last month, the umbrella group for most of America’s nuns held its annual meeting. Clergy sex abuse wasn’t on the agenda. No reporters apparently questioned them about clergy sex crimes or cover ups by women religious.

This part of the church’s continuing clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis remains largely unexamined – the nuns who commit and conceal child sex crimes.

Someday, this will change. And when it does, America’s nuns will have to answer some tough questions. Perhaps the toughest will be this one: “Back in 2002, when child molesting clerics and corrupt church officials burst into the national consciousness, why didn’t you take action then to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded?” 

Showing 17 comments

  • Donna Marie Cournoyer Cournoyer
    commented 2018-09-01 09:59:12 -0500
    I spent my childhood in ( age 8-17 in the hands of the nuns 6 hundred miles from home. Anything that made me ,me…was stripped away by fear, punishment, hunger, emotional abuse, physical abuse, prayer, isolation , and on and on. I am 67 and became a Secular Franciscan 20 years ago. I no longer can enter the doors of my community church, as I was abused my a member there.And two of our priests have been sent away because of interference with minors. i am dealing with PTSD all over again. My catholic friends tell me , it’s the devil behind my problems with the church. I no longer have these long time friends in my life. I’ve had to make a clean break from the church, but not my faith. St. Francis did the same in his time. For the same reasons . Greed, Abuse,Power.

    The results of years of abuse and isolation has plagued my life in so many damaging ways. I am so happy to find S.N.A.P….and talk about abuse by nuns. Shine a like on it. bring it out of the darkness and lies. Thank you and Bless You.

    Peace and all good Donna Cournoyer sfo
  • Jeri Shepherd
    commented 2016-11-27 10:27:06 -0600
    I also was abused as a child and an orphanage called Alfred Fortin villa in Bourbonnais not just myself but my sisters as well and it has affected our new hire entire lives trying to still get through that I was there from four years old to 10 and I am now 55 and still having to deal with the drama and trauma of what sister Eulalia did to us not just a sexual abuse but also the physical abuse sister Mary Margaret sister Joan Barbara they are all guilty
  • Gloria Sullivan
    commented 2016-04-13 17:40:01 -0500
    . Not olny nuns but brothers in the area, of " troubled young boys, in orphan type schools, like BOYSVILLE IN Michigan, Holy Cross brothers. My cousin joined and left because of severe sexual abuse in the dormitory at night brothers & occasional visiting priests. He complained & they did nothing. He left, I was such an apologist I wouldn’t believe him. He died way too young of a broken heart I’m sure.
  • Mary Boyle
    commented 2016-03-28 20:07:02 -0500
    St. Mary of the Hills in Milton…was very abusive…..the nuns. sister Mary David in particular should have never been placed in teaching positions. She regularly hit, beraded, scolded and mentally abused children. I am surprised no one has ever written about this school.
  • Gloria Sullivan
    commented 2015-07-12 22:49:59 -0500
    We are all sexual beings, whether single or married. These people who molest children are uneducated fools. We think of them as smart & holy..this is not true. They are naieve and stupid in the eyes of a rational human beings. Their superiors being of the same pathetic mind set.We do not live in the middle ages but act like we’ ‘re" so holy we’re no earthly good= Even GOD has had a devil of a time getting thru’ …
  • Philip Edwards
    commented 2015-07-11 05:08:05 -0500
    The nightmare these SO CALLED men and women of GOD put these poor children through is beyond depraved on every level of human decency and respect. The Nuns and priests who professed to follow God yet treated these poor children in the cruelest and most inhumane ways possible. All of these men and woman in these laundry churches should be make to work under the same lock down conditions for at least three years. Same rules, same abuse. Let’s see how much they enjoy it?
  • George and Jean Barilla
    commented 2013-10-24 21:08:05 -0500
    Thank you for your kind words Cait. I hope there are more women like you. In my book I said that any nun or priest that continued to serve the church after knowing what happened to the children and novice nuns was either an abuser or an enabler. Yes, it is the pain that kept us silent. It was also the feeling that it only happened to you that kept us silent – and in those days before the internet and social media the church made sure that the abused were isolated and victims could not unite. Never again will they keep us silent.
  • Cait Finnegan
    commented 2013-10-24 20:47:58 -0500
    I am so sorry, George. You’re right about them not ever expecting anyone to speak out. How can they even imagine they are above the truth being spoken?

    I say that, yet I myself took a long time to begin to address the issue in my own broken heart. The pain—you know. And even after addressing it with family and loved ones, and getting their support, it took me years to state my truth here on the SNAP sight. It was easier for me to share one to one with folks, or keep my own quiet blog. Coming to this forum is Independence Day for me!
  • George and Jean Barilla
    commented 2013-10-23 20:35:56 -0500
    Yes Cait, the math does add up showing that nuns have access to the children for longer periods of time. In the homes where children are sent to live they can abuse 24/7 – like they did to me. The Dominican nuns at St. Agnes in Sparkill, New York beat and abused me at all times of the day and night. When that wasn’t enough pleasure for them, early one morning when all the other children had left the room one of them smothered me with a pillow and put me in a coma, leaving me permanently brain damaged. They never imagined that I would come back from the dead and live to write a book and a blog and tell the world what they did. It’s good to see that you, a former nun, can also speak out about what these monsters hiding behind God are capable of doing.
  • Cait Finnegan
    commented 2013-10-23 04:33:40 -0500
    The LCWR state they have no authority over the member orders and communities that make up their conference. That is not true. Although they cannot dictate practice to the individual superiors or the orders they represent, this conference has tremendous moral authority, and it is their moral duty to speak to their membership directly and to address this issue publicly as the leaders of religious orders and communities.

    If we just do the math, the simple math, I believe that abuse by nuns will exceed that of the male clergy. The numbers of female religious exceed the number of priests, and they had access to children and youth six hours a day, five days a week, not including after school hours where greater privacy began. Generally priests had access to the boys before and after Mass, or at various group practices or trips—not all day every day! The math is frightening.

    I was in the convent. Anyone who is honest cannot be in a religious community more than a few weeks without seeing who the immature ones are (who can eventually become ephebophiles) who are courting one another! They are so sexually immature they don’t even recognize what their relationships are, but call them by simpleton names of “spiritual friendships.” These women would not understand or recognize a true spiritual friendship between mature adults. When I was in (40 year ago) sexuality simply was not addressed. It was ignored, and so those who were immature had no clue they were, and when they acted out they rationalized it as friendship and love. Those who were pedophiles, well they were just sick bitches who were pedophiles, control freaks, who would never mature even with counseling.

    I still know some Sisters today. Some have grown up and recognize the bullshit of the past, and are trying to demand their orders face life. The superiors, imo, are still all about denial and protecting themselves and their members (i.e. the order’s financial security), and are not really interested in victims (past, present or future). If they were they would not repeat the evil the bishops perpetrated on the Catholic world by ignoring reality. Even those few who do try to respond to victims in some way (as in my case) do not hold the abuser herself accountable!

    These vestal virgins are the last bastion of purity the Catholic population can cling to and they don’t want to believe that sisters can and do abuse children and youth. The entire Church needs to wake up.
  • David Clohessy
    followed this page 2013-10-23 04:14:44 -0500
  • George and Jean Barilla
    commented 2013-09-10 21:05:28 -0500
    Annette, they certainly are dysfunctional and that is what the church recruits – psychopaths, pedophiles and other violent and evil employees. Then the pope directs them, supports them, covers up what they do and lets it continue as they have for the past 2000 years. They will never stop until we stop them by not supporting them and exposing them every chance we get. They hide behind God but they can’t hide from us. They don’t fool God either.
  • Annette Kissell Nestler
    commented 2013-09-10 04:05:17 -0500
    Dysfunctional sexuality=torture and torment of children!
  • George and Jean Barilla
    commented 2013-09-09 21:20:04 -0500
    Nuns have been molesting and beating and smothering children since they did it to me 66 years ago — their attempted murder put me in a coma and the abuse caused my brother to commit suicide —so yes, it is time that they are exposed for what they are. I have been sharing what they did on my blog: catholicchurchabusebynunsandpriests.blogspot.com
    George Barilla
  • Gloria Sullivan
    commented 2013-09-09 16:23:47 -0500
    For 12 yrs. I have been blogging that these CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY have.been committed by , priests, nuns and brothers, in the Roman Catholic. church against our precious children. Every one thought I was wrong. I have been Proved to be, oh so sadly right! I will continue to blogg against the. sickening LIES they continue to feed the brainwashed catholics. JESUS IS LORD! You ‘re saved thru’ HIM. , not the evil rcc.
  • Annette Kissell Nestler
    commented 2013-09-09 09:14:32 -0500
    The nuns and anyone who stood idolly by, are all just as guilty. Their complicity enabled the abuse. SICK, SICK, SICK!!!
  • David Clohessy
    @ tweeted this page. 2013-09-09 08:23:03 -0500

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