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VATICAN CITY – A prominent Nigerian nun has blasted the culture of silence in the Catholic Church that has long sought to hide clergy sexual abuse, telling a Vatican summit that transparency and an admission of mistakes is needed to restore trust.
In a powerful speech Saturday, Sister Veronica Openibo told Pope Francis' gathering of the Catholic hierarchy that African and Asian church leaders must no longer justify their silence about sexual violence by claiming that poverty and conflict are more serious issues for the church.
Openibo warned: "This storm will not pass by."
She called for discussion on a host of controversial issues to address the scandal, including lay participation in the selection of bishops, whether seminaries for young boys are really healthy and why abusers aren't dismissed from the clergy.