Ex-nun urges Indian Catholic Church reform in tell-all book

June 29, 2009

amenA Roman Catholic nun who left her convent in India after 33 years of service has penned an unflattering picture of life within the cloistered walls in a book that may further embarrass the Church.

In “Amen: The Autobiography of a Nun”, published in India in English this month, Sister Jesme tells of sexual relations between some priests and nuns, homosexuality in the convent and discrimination and corruption in Catholic institutions…

“Amen” grabbed media headlines in February, when it was first published in Malayalam — the regional language of Kerala. With the new English edition and offers of a film based on the book, Sister Jesme’s plea for a reformation of the Church is now set to reach a wider audience.

Read our feature here.

11 comments

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Sexual repression of sex is unnatural. I do not know the total number of priests/nuns etc…around the world but let us say they are 1 million needing to abide by the vows of chastity. Does the Church truly believe that all 10 million priests/nuns will abide by their vows? There is good chance that at least 1% (10,000) of them will look for some sexual outlet depending upon the opportunities available, making great fertile ground for gays/lesbians/pedophiles. Pretty high # in such institutions where the primary goal is to go for religious/spiiritual activity. This particular homosexuality arising out of the sexual need is unnatural if you think about it. The worst is pedophiles. Instead of praying, these priests/nuns are preying.It is simply impossible to be celibate unless one is impotent. In the history of religion, I do not know if an impotent or sexually repressed person ever achieved enlightenment. same goes for spirituality.The author of the book (sister Jesme) said it very well:“These days we give importance to quantity, we run around and bring people inside and with all other attractions, they are made into priests or sisters. What happens is that they find it difficult to live the life of chastity. Even all the other vows are difficult but in the 21st century, this has become a real trouble.”Church is hoping for the impossible. Reforms are needed.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

The Church conspiracies run deeper that what Sister Jasmine has alleged. Church indulge in a systematic and cunning scheme of conversion. Sister Jasmine should also reveal the bigger conspiracy.

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive

Please explore these 2 websites.http://www.newsweek.com/id/2027 34/output/commentsGoogle- FUALTLINES, RELIGION.US mindset is now acquiring a fundamental change painting religion all over, and unfortunately even the armed forces are not spared. The evangelization of US Army is discussed widely and image of america has taken a nosedive with anti-American forces using this as another excuse. Soon, enemies of america will project this metamorphosis of the most powerful force on planet as an evil force. Quick remedies, if not implemented now, then damage control will take forever.Poaching is the only objective it appears and very little spirituality transpires in Asia and Africa THRU PROSELYTIZATION, diluting very core principles of a religion. Interfaith dialogue is essential for international amity. Objectives 0f Religion should be more about spirituality not one of political and social dominance. Hindusim and Buddism should be recognized as tolerant and peaceful; mutual respect should be extended to them.

Azad:Thanks for the Newsweek link. It says: “many have charged that the United States was conducting a holy war, pitting a Christian America against the Muslim world. That perception grew as prominent military leaders such as Lt. Gen. William Boykin described the wars in evangelical terms, casting the U.S. military as the “army of God.” What a name the General picked, which means “Lashkar-e-Tayyiba” (“Army of God”).

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

The church is a fishing boat on the sea ( the world). It may contain both good fishes and bad fishes. Likewise there may be both good people and bad people inside the church. Atlast those who lead a holy life will be collected for heaven and bad people will be burnt in fire. So, faithfuls neednot worry about bad model shown by other people. Everyone will get there own reward. God will never ask which is impossible. Leading a holy life is possible with the help of divine grace even as a clergy . Our blessed lord and the holy family is the perfect example. Also there are crores of saints who are also good examples for the same among them many were clergies. Many of them even became matyrs. And God also attested their holyness by some of them’s incorrupted bodies which are still respected.Christopher

Posted by Chrisotpher | Report as abusive

Christopher just one question… Let’s deal with this world where humans are supreme and leave “Other world (imaginary heaven & hell) to god (imaginary)”… Are you aware of history of world… Especially before and after birth of two religions… Christianity and Islam?

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive

RohitI think your posting would be a bad model for many people. My kind request is never do it again. If God, heaven and hell are imaginary then there is no virtue and sin. Man can live in any way. I will never say so. I too know atleast something about world’s history. AS you, I too ask few questions. According to the law of this world all dead bodies should be corrupted. But some of catholic saint’s bodies are not yet corrupted under normal circumstances. Can you say why? Can you say who created gravitational pull of attraction? The cloth covered our blessed Lord’s body during his burial is not yet corrupted. Can you say why? It can be scientifically prooved its age is 2000 years. Can you say all plantets are rotating in perfect orbits according to their will eventhough that are not living? Can they decide their path? Can you say how force is acting? It is imaginary you know? Because you can not see it you know. If you can feel force, Then you are a living man. If so, You can feel God also. Eventhough we don’t see He is acting upon this world. He is caring us and this world every second. If he shows his anger for one minute everything will be destroyed. He is almighty and he can do everything except controdictary things. My request again is please correct yourself.

Posted by Christopher | Report as abusive

Christopher,If some one reads my posting without prejudice, they will immediately start to practice living peace and harmony with surroundings and ignore the load of lies that is fed by torch bearers of God.You did not answer my question about history, for; you NOW know there is nothing good in general… Before that when historical deeds were actually committed, everyone believed that it was good. The rest of your arguments are faulty in nature. There are many questions to which I do not have answer. The reason is that I did not study science to the extent required to answer your questions. Where we do not have answer to questions, the sane reply is “I do not know”. Foolish replies are “God did that or God knows”. Now coming back to your questionsVirtue and sin are words to describe deeds… The meaning they have arose from the fact that either a person can exist cohesively with surroundings or he cannot. When a person exists cohesively, his deeds are termed as virtuous… When he does not, the deeds are termed as sin. People are afraid of pain and death and want to live happily forever so they propagate set of deeds which is virtuous. The set of virtuous/ sinful deeds differs from persons to persons of various faith and the set of virtuous deeds and sinful deeds practiced by Christians and Muslims has brought misery in general in this world.Saint Bodies… Egyptians had mummy before Catholic Saints. Are the bodies of Catholic Saints kept in open where bacteria, virus, animals can feed?Gravity, Orbit of planets… Ask a physics professor. I was poor in science… I do not knowSaint Cloth… Forget cloth, there are many things still surviving… EARTH for example… SUN for example… For example Chinese ancient manuscripts, some artifacts from Harappa Mohanjodaro civilization etc. Does this mean they cannot be destroyed…? Yes they can be destroyed. Try burning the cloth and see if it survives.Force… Force is acting the way it is forced like I am forcing and proving beyond doubt that you have childish arguments. But you will not agree and come with even more kiddish arguments which will be the force forced from you. We will continue to hold our positions. In such cases only those who have might win by forcing fear of physical bodily harm.The rest of statements are figments of someone else’s imagination which you believe is true because you are weak… For example, can anyone define the standard limits of mind which exists but you cannot see or feel but has speed?I hope Christopher, that I answered your questions. My request is also that you should correct yourself and start thinking rational and believe in realty, peace. Do feel free to ask me any questions you may have.

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive

Reading Tom Heneghan’s article on the French monks killed in Algeria brought me right back to Charles Foucault.

Posted by Ted d'Afflisio | Report as abusive

God never called a man or woman to be celibate inorder to serve him. Some of the APOSTLES were married. Catholicism is so far from true Christianity ! Get out of that church as soon as you can, and get a relationship with God through Jesus Christ .

Posted by bryann | Report as abusive

Bryann – very good points. This is especially important for new comers. They need realize the differences right from the start.
chad with http://www.firstorlando.com

Posted by chad38 | Report as abusive