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PHILIPPINES: Bishops Vow No Cover-Ups Of Clergy Abuses

Reeling from new claims of clerical sexual abuses in the Catholic Church particularly in the United States, the country’s bishops expressed “pain and shame” for the crimes, promising action and no cover-up to such criminal acts.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has vowed that clergymen who molested girls and children will be dealt with accordingly. Archbishop Romulo Valles, CBCP President, said the “painful situation” calls the bishops to “revisit and review” both the universal and the local church’s laws on sexual abuse.

In its 2016 letter, the CBCP has assured cooperation with civil authorities to address clerical abuse that has tarnished the church’s image around the world. The bishops said they are determined to make sure the church is a safe environment for all Catholics, especially children, and assured appropriate care for victims and their families.

Titled Pastoral Exhortation on the Pastoral Care and Protection of Minors, the statement was intended to guide the dioceses based on a global approach but in line with local criminal law.

Echoing the call of Pope Francis, the CBCP head also called on the Church to pray and fast amid clergy abuse revelations. “The situation also calls us to something important. It reminds us to go to the Lord in prayer,” Valles added. 

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