After they denounced the sexual abuse of nuns by clergy, the founder and Vatican all-women editorial team of a female-centric magazine quit, claiming they were being pressurized to work under men.

Lucetta Scaraffia, the founder of Women Church World, a monthly glossy published alongside the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, has decided to announce the collective decision of her committee by writing an editorial which will be published on April 1. She also informed Pope Francis of her decision through an open letter that was obtained by the Associated Press on Tuesday.

“We are throwing in the towel because we feel surrounded by a climate of distrust and progressive de-legitimization,” Scaraffia wrote in the editorial.

One of the reasons she cited behind the decision was the lack of editorial independence from L’Osservatore – something the magazine enjoyed ever since it came into existence in 2012 despite being published by a newspaper, which was strictly governed by the views of the church. As a result, the church was able to act as a voice for women and focus on issues faced by them. However, that freedom diminished with time.

“They are returning to the practice of selecting women who ensure obedience,” the editorial read. “They are returning to clerical self-reference and are giving up that ‘parresia’ [freedom to speak freely] that Pope Francis so often seeks.”

According to Scaraffia, the condition got worse after the magazine published a piece on Feb. 1, about the perverseness of touch. The piece delved into the sexual abuse of nuns by priests.

"If the church continues to close its eyes to the scandal — made even worse by the fact that abuse of women brings about procreation and is therefore at the origin of forced abortions and children who aren't recognized by priests — the condition of oppression of women in the church will never change," the magazine founder later said of the issue, the Tablet reported.

In this representational image, nuns walk through St. Peter's Square at dawn in Vatican City, Sept. 03, 2018. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The article led the pope to acknowledge for the first time the abuse that several nuns endured at the hands of priests and bishops. In reply to a reporter asking him about the authenticity of the allegations made in the Vatican magazine article, Pope Francis said, “It is true ... there have been priests and even bishops who have done this. I think it is still going on because something does not stop just because you have become aware of it.”

After the piece was published, Andrea Monda, the new editor of L’Osservatore, told Scaraffia that he would take over as editor of the magazine – a move that was never finalized after the editorial team threatened to quit and Catholic weeklies that distributed copies of Women Church World in various languages said they would stop selling the magazine.

“After the attempts to put us under control, came the indirect attempts to delegitimize us,” Scaraffia said.

She also added the newspaper did not give up trying to influence their discourse by bringing in women to write for L’Osservatore “with an editorial line opposed to ours.” The aim was to “obscure our words, delegitimizing us as a part of the Holy See’s communications,” she said.