A pregnant nun, who had no idea she was pregnant, has obviously fallen short of keeping her vow of celibacy. This pregnant nun has become worldwide news since she gave birth last week. While pregnant, the nun reports she believed that she had a stomach ailment causing her stomach to bloat. She says she had no idea she was carrying a baby until the doctor’s informed her she was about to give birth at the emergency room.
The International Business Times on Jan. 19 reports that the other nuns at the convent had no idea that she was pregnant. The nun’s traditional garb, the habit, is big and baggie, so hiding a pregnancy would be easy. The other nuns did however notice that she did gain weight.
Counting backwards, one of her superiors at the convent said that Sister Roxanne became pregnant when she returned to her home country of El Salvador last year. Sister Roxanne is from El Salvador, but she was living at a convent outside of Rome and caring for the elderly in a home there.
The nun, now known worldwide for this birth, needed to travel back to her home country to renew her passport last spring. This is where she ran into a childhood flame and a fleeting encounter rendered her pregnant. She has not named the father.
Delio Lucarelli, the bishop of the town of Rieti, said that Sister Roxanne will be “forced to leave the Little Disciples of Jesus convent and lead a secular life with her infant, away from religious institutions because of the embarrassment her pregnancy caused, reports the IBT.” Rieti is the town where the convent that the nun was living in is located.
You would think that in today’s world a nun having a baby wouldn’t cause the problems that Sister Roxanne is about to face because she became pregnant. The Catholic religion is very strict in some countries, like the nun’s homeland of El Salvador. Sister Roxanne has already said she cannot go back there because of the shame she has caused.
So what happens next to this new mother? Don Fabirzio Borrello, the local pastor in the town where Sister Roxanne was living in the convent said that he believed her when she said she had no idea she was pregnant. Apparently her superior doesn't believe she was hiding the pregnancy, it was just that she was unaware of it. The bishop of Rieti, Delio Lucarelli, made the decision for the nun to put her priority of raising the child over being a nun.
The local pastor and the mayor of Rieti have offered to help Sister Roxanne. It is believed that Pope Francis, who has not publically reacted to the nun’s birth as of yet, will not condemn the child. His teachings of love over tradition will most likely hold true in this case.
A nun giving birth is not something taken lightly. It is a frightening experience for the nun who stands to be ostracized, which presents as a hard life for her and her baby. This wouldn’t be a problem in the U.S., but in other parts of the world a nun that gives birth to a baby is treated like she is wearing a scarlet letter.
Pope Francis, who the nun named her baby boy after, will hopefully agree with the local church’s decision to help the woman because his words could make life much easier. He has already surprised the world with his modern thinking.