Sex Behind the Convent Veil

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 18, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeFrom Wednesday to Saturday this week Pope Francis will meet at the Vatican with Roman Catholic bishops from around the world to discuss the global sex abuse crisis that is threatening his “legacy and the moral capital that is the currency of his pontificate” (NYTimes, Feb 5, 2019.)

Maria Abi-Habib and Suhasini Raj recounted the story of Bishop Franco Mulakkal of India who agreed to personally celebrate the First Communion for Darly’s son, a rare honor in the Roman Catholic Church.

However, “during the ceremony, Darly looked over at her sister, a nun who worked with the bishop, to see her eyes spilling over with tears-tears of joy, she figured. But only later would she learn of her sister’s allegation that the night before, the bishop had summoned the nun to his quarters and raped her. The family says that was the first assault in a two-year ordeal in which the prelate raped her 13 times”(NYTimes, Feb. 9)

In the 1990s, when the AIDS virus was wrecking havoc on the people of Malawi, the priests turned to the nuns to satisfy their holy lust. They saw the nuns as “safe” sexual partners.

Five reports, written by senior members of women’s religious orders, documented what was taking place: “The priests, who often live with one or two nuns in isolated villages, are said to fear contracting HIV from prostitutes and other high-risk groups. They often turn…to nuns.” (Chicago Tribune, March 21, 2001).

Sister Maura O’Donohue, a physician and member of the Medical Missionaries of Mary, reported that in Malawi 29 sisters in a single congregation became pregnant by priests in the diocese. She describes instances “where priests were bringing sisters [and other young women] to Catholic health institutions for abortions…I gave one example of a priest who had brought a sister for an abortion. She died during the procedure, and the priest officiated at the requiem mass” (Chicago Tribune).

When this report first appeared in the National Catholic Reporter, a weekly newspaper in Kansas City, Missouri, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valis insisted that the problem was confined to “a limited geographic area.”

He can make no such claim today. Lucetta Scaraffia, a feminist intellectual and editor in chief of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Roman wrote: “The abuse of women results in procreation and so is at the origin of the scandal of imposed abortions and children not recognized by priests” (NYTimes, February 5, 2019)

Similar “scenes” were revealed in Anna Cruickshank’s Startling Facts Under the Convent Veil, an autobiography that was published in Port of Spain between 1909 and 1914. It tells the story of Anna, nee Olivier, a French nun, who was born in Lyons in 1874. In France, she read an article about the work that nuns were doing at the Cocorite Lyper Asylum, founded in 1845, and became interested Trinidad.

In 1902, she came to Trinidad to work in the Asylum where she met and fell in love with Albert Cruickshank, one of the patients and author of Poems in All Moods (1937) that was announced in Opportunity: Journal of Negro Life (January 1939). When her superiors tried to prevent her from marrying Albert, she left the convent and exposed the underside of convent life in her autobiography.

Anna documents “mendacity and falsehoods” practiced daily by some members of the holy orders in the island. She also described the “love intrigues” that took place between the nuns and the lepers, the nuns and the monks, and the nuns and officials who visited the church.

Anna tells of a Mother Prioress in France who fell in love with a doctor “and found herself in a delicate situation. With the help of her lover, and the devotion of a lay sister serving as a nurse, she hid the fact of her position from the community by feigning sickness and keeping within her cell, where the doctor visited her daily under the pretext of medical attention” (Startling Facts).

Imagine the scandal when the Prioress-General, visiting the convent, discovered the Mother Prioress’s condition as she was giving birth to a child. “After searching for it everywhere, to her horror, after having forced the nun out of the bed, she [the Prioress-General] discovered the little creature between two mattresses, dead-smothered by its own parent” (Startling Facts).

Sickened by the intrigue in the Church and having fallen in love with Albert, Anna decided to leave the convent in 1909. The Roman Catholic authorities tried to extract a promise from her that once she had left she wouldn’t write about her convent experiences.

When she went to Mother Thomas, head of the convent, for assistance to make her transition back to normal life, she was given a paltry sum of $15. When she threatened to write about her experiences, Mother Thomas replied confidently: “You can do whatever you like….Nobody in Trinidad will believe you.”

Today, the world believes much of what ex-nuns have said of the criminal behavior of priests and bishops within the holy walls. This week the pope will have to listen to the crimes that Jesus servants committed in his name.

Trinbagonians didn’t have to wait until 2019 to hear these stories. We heard them 110 years ago when a courageous nun from France spilled the beans of what took place within the convent walls.

4 thoughts on “Sex Behind the Convent Veil”

  1. Revelation 17 (KJV)

    17 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

    2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

    3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

    4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

    5 And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth.

    Revelation 17 describes the Catholic Church. She has intermingled with this world. Catholic history goes back to Babylon. And the Romans to defeat paganism took the holidays dedicate to their Gods and change it to various Bible characters. The true church bears it’s allegiances to Christ only. The false church is a Harlot intermingled with this world. Pope Francis recently met with Muslim leaders in the Middle East to sign a covenant with them. And so many other declarations he has made that is contrary to the Scriptures.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of good people in the Catholic Churches who become nuns, priest, serve at the altar out of a high level of genuine commitment. But then behind those walls are aborted babies, murder, rape and all kinds of vile acts from sexually repressed priests. In Canada they took the native children and committed the most horrible acts against them. In the US recently there were stories of a pedophile ring where little boys were passed around.

    This church do not represent Christ. Satan is busy within there sphere of influence!

  2. That’s what it should be all about , Exposing the norms of the orthodox Catholicism . If one should take a closer at what we have as a Nation , the darkness of this SECTARIAN entity , continue the BACCHANALIA that the Catholic have indoctrinated since Slavery days . Man made Bishops , Priests and Ash-Bishops are nothing but immoral conniving deceiving Criminals hiding in plain sight . European Christian Doctrine is nestled with the Abuse of Women , Children , the mass destruction of Civilizations through Ethnic cleansing and Sanctioning of Wars . In Trinidad’s case , the 1% French/Black Creoles was food for PROMISCUITY , the Greek God PAN and canalism , is what we have masquerading as Religion , throughout Slavery , Colonialism to the present. Nuns who left the seminary/convent , have been disoriented and broken because of Spiritual Wickedness in High places. Some years back, so-called Catholic priest Sewell was charged with Child molestation , he was shipped out of Trinidad in the dead of nite by the Catholic hierarch to Ireland . While Trinidad Police will not hesitate to kill a Mis-guided young Black Man , Catholic men of the cloth walk piously clean in the eyes of man . From Australia to the Andies of South America , White men perpetrating to be Christians have committed Crimes against Humanity in all forms . They are the ones who always tend to preach the law of God , their God . When your God and Savior looks like your Master and Enslaver , you become the principal agent in your DESTRUCTION. Trinidad is on this path as we speak .


    More than a 1000 victims over 300 priest massive cover up over the years in Pennsylvania archdiocese. The Catholic Church provides the best and most protective covering for pedophiles, rapist, sadist, murderers and scumbags. Sympathetic priest look the other way, move the offenders around to get new victims. Whilst granting absolution to the criminals. In just one archdiocese over a 1000 victims….sickening.

  4. The RC church supported Franco, Mussolini and Hitler in the name of stamping out communism. The Evangelical groups have given Donald Trump unequivocal support in the 2016 elections. Needless to say, the prolific liar and selfish individual he is. e.g., supporting Russia and Saudi Arabia for his personal and family financial greed. Hindu priests have been known to fondle women at pujas, Pastors are known to be co habiting with women members in their congregation. Supporting the view of Mahatma Gandhi that politics and religion are inseparable it is my view that it takes one to contaminate the rest.

    Agreed that religion is man made, we must always be alert not to follow individuals and organizations blindly without doing some of our own and investigative homework ourselves as deemed necessary.

    I used to be an acolyte and in the junior choir of the RC church at Harris Promenade in the late 50s and early 60s. I never experienced anything that is described by many articles of publications however I was aware of rumours that circulated about some nuns at the convent and priests housed at the presbytery at that time. Yet I have heard how a nun had a knife attached to her leg to be used if she was attacked on her way from the church to the convent. Makes sense when one heard of some of the happenings at Paradise cemetery which is close proximity.

    Before we start casting stones at glass houses, we need to measure the competencies we have within ourselves and know we should not allow ourselves to be led that easily. When the circumstances arise, we should be just as judgemental to those individuals who would bring disrepute and punish them accordingly and not to cover up.

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