Monday, October 15, 2007
Catholics ousting nuns...
The Sisters of Bethany convent in Santa Barbara, California, is home to three elderly nuns who have lived there for decades. The oldest, Sister Angela Escalera, has lived in the home for 43 years.

But they are now being evicted by their landlord -- the Los Angeles Archdiocese. The Archdiocese told us they want to sell the convent in order to raise money to pay the hundreds of millions of dollars they owe to victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. It is not yet clear where the nuns will go.

This was an incredibly frustrating story to report for several reasons.

First, we were not able to speak to the nuns and we couldn't even photograph them because their Mother General, their boss so to speak, ordered them not to interact with anyone from the press. This order came after one of the nuns, Sister Angela, criticized the Los Angeles Archdiocese for its decision to evict the nuns, saying it was unfair that she had her fellow sisters had to suffer for crimes committed by priests.

A representative from the archdiocese told us everyone in the church had to pay a price for the indiscretions of these priests, even though it may not always seem fair. What was frustrating was not just seeing these elderly nuns now thinking about moving from a place they called home since the late 1950's, but also the hurt to the largely latino community which came to rely on them.

A group of women told us how the nuns took them to the hospital when they didn't have cars and brought food to their families when they were hungry. They now have the same question I have: Who will be there to do that now for the people who need it?

The church has to meet its financial obligations, but it's not just the nuns that lose, it's the community they dedicated themselves to serving.

-- By Jason Carroll, CNN Correspondent
Posted By CNN: 6:09 PM ET
  12 Comments
OK, I'm going to write a letter to the Pope. This is ridiculous! These women have dedicated most of their entire adult life to the church. I'm sure there are other ways to raise the money. It's bad enough that the church is against women becoming priests. Let's not discriminate them anymore by forcing them to move out of their convent. I will pray that the nuns reconsider being silent on this one!
Posted By Jolene, St. Joseph, MI : 6:53 PM ET
I don't think the nuns should have to pay for the sins of the prist. After all these nuns are trying to help people and the prist were sinning. So why should the nuns have to pay? also the people that the nuns is helping. What about the people that the nuns are helping should they have to pay also? After all " What Would Jesus Do"

Jennifer - Anderson, South Carolina
Posted By bluediamond (Jennifer) : 6:58 PM ET
So even with the church the financial needs outweigh the needs of their parishioners. I guess I'm not surprised but I am very disappointed that they have this priority.

The nuns should be left alone - not only because they are doing a good job in the neighborhood ministering to the population there but also in respect for all the years of hard work they have given for the Church already. Seems nothing is sacred anymore.

Annie Kate
Birmingham AL
Posted By Annie Kate : 10:34 PM ET
Please dig deeper into this nun siuation.

This is not the first nunnery closed since the sex scandals..seems they keep the priests and dump the nuns into the street.

I heard that his happened to the nuns in Des Moines Iowa and heard of it happening in other towns.

I am not catholic but find it outrageous that the nuns are paying for churchs lack of controll of their priestly molesters.

I bet if you reasearched this natiowide you would find this in many if not all dioceses.

What a horrible vision of sexism to have nuns dumped on the street.
Are the guily priests on the street also?

CAN YOU Please research and
KEEP EM HONEST?

Thanks
Posted By Sara Eddy : 11:07 PM ET
I find it very disturbing that the catholic church would consider "ousting" Nuns from a home they have had for over 40 to 50 years to pay for the indiscretions of it's priests. That is beyond ridiculous. The Nuns in questions have done nothing except help unfortunate people of their community. It is not their fault the Catholic Church failed to police their leaders. The Vatican certainly is not broke nor even "hard up for money", so the leaders need to pull funds from within their stores to pay for their failure to "Police their own". The masses should not have to pay for the perverse behavior of certain priests.
Posted By Kim; Crossville, TN : 11:36 PM ET
This is outrageous! Doesn't that diocese have properties anywhere else, that it has to resort to getting rid of a convent that has been part of the community for decades?

Then to pile insult to injury, the nuns don't know who will take them in? Elderly nuns, without a mother house? If the Catholic Church tried that here in the Philippines (where priestly shenanigans have a part of our history since the Spanish arrived with the Catholic faith), I'm pretty sure the parish would rise in revolt against the instigator of such an idea, such would be the indignation.

What the hierarchy is doing to those nuns is contrary to justice, both as defined by secular law and the teachings of the Bible - in my very humble opinion. It is not right that elderly nuns, who have spent their lives doing good things for their community, should be turfed out like that. It is not right that the innocent should be made to pay for the sins of the guilty. It is definitely not right for the Church to expect people to believe that this horribly unfair turn of events is something that is necessary!

Cynthia M. Genato
Makati City, Philippines
Posted By Starshadow : 10:34 AM ET
This is heartless. The elderly nuns dedicated their lives to God and the needy people around them. Now, their being evicted to pay for the "Sins of the Fathers." How charitable of the diocese.They should at least be transferred to decent housing in the vicinity.
Posted By Carol B., Frederick, MD : 1:23 PM ET
Hi Jason, Now tell me, why the church expects everyone to suffer for the sins of their priests?
This is the same church that follows the teachings of Jesus?? They certainly do live a lie when it comes to real life. The hypocrisy of the priests of Catholic church is the very reaason that I am no longer a catholic and the reason that they are losing their parishoners in droves.
I am only sorry that the three nuns are intimadated by their so-called boss, who also pretends to live according to the teaching of Jesus, which, by the way, is in line with compassion and understanding, rather than, intimidation. What a farce!
Posted By Judy Stage Brooklyn MI : 5:51 PM ET
Now, I have heard everything. What
will happen to these sisters. I am
sure they don't have alot of money
sashed away. Please do a follow
up on what their fate. Reading some of the other comments, if the
church had done a better job screening it priests they wouldn't
be in the mess they are in.
Posted By barb-dalton ga : 6:26 PM ET
The Catholic church,and the vatican has hidden this abuse for years. Bishops and Arch Bishops have moved priest around this country to protect them and hide these abuse situtations.
Now that they have gotten caught, and individuals have come forward;why do innocent nuns have to pay the price?
Let the vatican pay for it they knew all along what was happening.
Posted By mike, ST. Amant La : 6:28 PM ET
This situation is not at all surprising to me. A few years ago the nuns at a convent were told they could take back their names and go back home. What home? Many of them were in their 60's or 70's; their parents died years ago and their siblings are married with grown children. Chances are their siblings are getting to the age where their health is failing and they need help. They aren't in a position to take on the responsibility of another person.

When you enter a convent, it's supposed to be for life. You are told to give up close ties with your family, worldly possessions etc. The church should keep up their part of the bargain. At least in my aunt's case, they didn't evict them. It's outrageous that the archdiocese is treating the nuns this way. I don't see them evicting the priests who actually did something wrong. The nuns shouldn't be punished for the behavior of the priests.
Posted By Christina, Windber, PA : 6:31 PM ET
Let us be very clear here, because the spokesperson is being disingenous at best and lying at worst:

"A representative from the archdiocese told us everyone in the church had to pay a price for the indiscretions of these priests."

The price they are paying is not the price for the priests indiscretions. The price they are paying is the price they are paying because the corruption and coverup of child sexual abuse by priests has been proven to go back decades and all the way to the top in Rome. We don't need to listen to more lies, especially about why innocent nuns are being evicted.
Posted By Katia60 : 5:19 PM ET
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