Pope Francis has vowed to combat the of nuns and urged religious sisters to just say no when clergy want to use them as maids.

Francis told 850 superiors of religious orders gathered Friday for the triennial assembly of the International Union of Superiors General, the main umbrella group of nuns, that theirs is a vocation of service, not servitude.

The union’s president, Maltese Sister Carmen Sammut, told Francis that clergy abuse of sisters was “diffuse in many parts of the world,” while there were cases too of nuns abusing other nuns.

Nuns waits to see Pope Francis, in Sofia, Bulgaria, Sunday, May 5, 2019. Pope Francis is visiting Bulgaria, the European Union's poorest country and one that taken a hard line against migrants, a stance that conflicts with the pontiff's view that reaching out to vulnerable people is a moral imperative. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Nuns waits to see Pope Francis, in Sofia, Bulgaria, Sunday, May 5, 2019. Pope Francis is visiting Bulgaria, the European Union’s poorest country and one that taken a hard line against migrants, a stance that conflicts with the pontiff’s view that reaching out to vulnerable people is a moral imperative. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Francis said sexual abuse of sisters was “a serious, grave problem.” He said: “We have to fight this, and also the service of religious sisters: Please: service yes, servitude no.”

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