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  • James Hamilton and Juan Andres Murillo, victims of clerical sexual abuse in Chile, attend a court seeking compensation in civil case in Santiago, Chile, Oct. 18, 2018.

    James Hamilton and Juan Andres Murillo, victims of clerical sexual abuse in Chile, attend a court seeking compensation in civil case in Santiago, Chile, Oct. 18, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 30 April 2019

The film was the most-watched documentary of the year on the French-German channel, seen live by 1.5 million people live and another 1.7 million in reruns.

A hit documentary about how some Catholic priests allegedly abused nuns in different parts of the world has been pulled from the Franco-German television channel Arte after a priest complained to a German court.

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The big-budget media expose "Sex Slaves in the Catholic Church" was broadcast in March and has been widely distributed internationally since it came out.

Its initial broadcast came weeks after Pope Francis admitted that some rogue priests had used nuns as "sexual slaves" and that the Vatican had to dissolve a French order because its founder was preying on its sisters.

The Vatican's women's magazine, Women Church World, also reported that some nuns had been forced into having abortions.

Arte told AFP Tuesday that it was forced to pull the documentary from its replay site earlier this month after a press tribunal in Hamburg slapped a temporary injunction on the film following a complaint from a priest.

The tribunal told AFP the priest complained that, while he was not shown in the documentary, he was "recognizable" from an interview given by a nun.

In the interview, the nun "gave the impression that the priest had forced a nun into sex against her will."

The priest was not identified in the public record of the complaint.

The channel said it was challenging the decision.

The film was made over the course of three years by French director Marie-Pierre Raimbault and investigative journalist Eric Quintin, who collected the testimony of nuns whose allegations were said to have been ignored or hidden by Church hierarchy across four continents.

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