“It’s not possible, I’m a nun,” a 31-year-old told doctors on Wednesday after she had been rushed to a hospital with stomach pain only to find out she was about to have a baby.
The news ignited a rush of stories in the Italian press on Friday. Her Catholic superiors in Rieti, a small town in central Italy, seemed to want to wash their hands of the affair and are kicking her out of the convent.
“It would be preferable that she now lead a secular life with her baby, away from religious institutions,” Bishop Delio Lucarelli said. But the local diocese said it would help her for a few weeks.
The nun, a sister of the Little Disciples of Jesus who worked in a retirement home, claimed she didn’t know she was pregnant.
Neither did her fellow sisters suspect.
“We noticed she had put on weight, but recently she had kept herself to herself,” one of the sisters said. The Mother Superior told the Italian press, “It seems she was not able to resist temptation.”
Some speculate that the new mother became pregnant when she made a visit home to El Salvador last year.
The future of the new mother — she hasn’t been named by the media — and her baby, whom she has called Francesco — the Italian form of Francis — remains uncertain.