ST. LOUIS — Pope Francis has acknowledged for the first time that nuns have been sexually abused in the Catholic Church.
The pope admits the abuse at the hands of priests and other clergy has been going on for decades.
Some had even been subjected to sex slavery in a French order.
This comes as the pope prepares to convene a summit of bishops from around the world to address the crisis of sexual abuse in the church.
A local advocate wants even more from the pontiff.
"I was abused from the time I was about 6 until I was 12-13 by my best friends uncle, who was a priest at our parish," Barbara Dorris said.
Her abuse was constant. Her priest had access to her far beyond the St. Louis parish walls.
"He could call my mother, she’d send me. He could call the nuns at school, they’d send me to his bedroom," Dorris said.
When the abuse finally ended, she blocked the memories and moved on.
It wasn't until 1991 while she was teaching at the same parish, that she revisited her own pain by witnessing someone else's.
"And I caught the associate pastor molesting a child, and that’s what brought me into the movement," she said.
Ever since, she's dedicated her life to helping other victims and putting pressure on the church the change their practices.
"It’s not that there are abusive priests, it’s the fact that when they’re caught, they’re protected, enabled and moved to a new parish," Dorris said.
While Dorris celebrates the pope's acknowledgment, she fervently believes he must do more.
"Women and girls have been fairly ignored in this process so to finally acknowledge that I believe women are almost equally abused as the men, is important," she said.
Barbara no longer seeks the church as a place of comfort, but still holds on to her faith.
"I believe in what I was taught as a child, and I try to live by it," she said.
Her prayer: that the church will finally address this problem head-on.
"Until there is punishment for these activities, they will continue to go on," Dorris said.
Later this month, Pope Francis is summoning the world’s top bishops for a sexual abuse prevention summit in Rome.
Barbara plans to be there too.
She hopes she can lend her voice and her story… to ensure church leaders know just how serious this problem, truly is.