The Catholic church requires celibacy for its priests and nuns. But many find it hard to do so. While some are coerced into it, many of the sexual relations they have are voluntary and with both priests and parishioners.
Celibacy is seen as one of the most important sacrifices a priest or nun makes for the church. Nuns consider themselves married to Christ. Rather than taking a human spouse, they devote themselves to God. But many nuns face a daily challenge trying to keep their vows and their faith.
According to a study conducted by Margaret Halstead and Lauro Halstead entitled “A Sexual Intimacy Survey of Former Nuns and Priests,” which was first carried out in 1978 and which has consistently confirmed results, including an update in 2018, more than half of all nuns say they knew of sexual activity going on in their convents. Some 44 percent of the most recently surveyed say they knew of sex between sisters, while 54 percent say they knew of sexual relationships between nuns and male members of the clergy. Just over a third say the nuns they knew were fooling around were doing so with lay people, including married men in the congregation.