The Catholic church has launched an investigation into how two nuns, who took a vow of chastity, became pregnant after a missionary trip to Africa.
According to ANSA, an Italian news outlet, the nuns, who are Africans and belong to separate orders in Sicily, were posted to the continent as part of their charity mission.
One of the nuns — said to be 34-year-old — reportedly discovered that she was pregnant when she went to the hospital to complain about stomach pains.
According to the reports, she was transferred to a different order in Palermo to prepare for the birth of the child.
The other nun, who is a mother superior and had been caring for the elderly at an institute in Ragusa, was said to have left for Madagascar, her home country, after it was discovered that she was one-month pregnant.
Speaking on the development, a church official told UK Sun that an investigation has been opened into the breaching of the “strict rules of chastity.”
“There is consternation at this news,” the source was quoted to have said.
“It appears that both women were back in their home nations and obviously had some form of sexual encounter.
“An investigation has been launched. They both breached strict rules of chastity but the welfare of their children is uppermost. The most likely outcome is they will leave their religious service.”
Earlier this year, Pope Francis had admitted that some nuns had been sexually abused by clerics.
“We have to fight this, and also the service of religious sisters: Please: Service yes, servitude no,” he had said in January.