Pope Francis publicly confirmed on Tuesday that nuns are being sexually abused by Catholic priests and bishops.
On the way back from his trip to the Arabian Peninsula, he told reporters the abuse has at times been so severe that religious sisters in one French congregation reached "the point of sexual slavery." Francis said his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, took action and dissolved that congregation in 2005.
This is the first time Francis has publicly acknowledged the issue. He said the Catholic Church is working to solve the problem and "should not be scandalized by this."
The problem isn't isolated to a single country or region; multiple other outlets have reported on abuse against nuns from around the world.
And, of course, the church is facing another ongoing sexual abuse scandal that spans continents and decades. In a letter released last month, Francis acknowledged a "culture of abuse" in the church and called out those who have attempted to cover up crimes.
Pope Francis has already taken some steps to fight abuse in the church. He asked bishops from around the world to meet in Rome later this month to address the scandal.
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.