There’s a short passage that I don’t understand in a formal speech in a youtube video. The passage starts at 6:30, and the URL is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJJX123tIwA#t=6m25s Here is my transcript of the passage, with the part that I don’t get in boldface :
Catholic seminaries were almost emptied. Convents were a smouldering wreck of subtle or gemene messed-up nuns, who were the remnants of the vast numbers that used to be there.
The speaker is from Australia.