Thursday, July 5, 2018

SINS OF THE FATHER: Al Jazeera reports on shocking sins of PH Catholic Church

Image credit ti YouTube/Al Jazeera English

The controversial documentary of international media network, Al Jazeera, titled “Sexual misconduct in the Philippines’ Catholic Church: Sins of the Father” highlighted the serious crimes such as pedophilia and rape perpetuated by the very people regarded by the predominantly Catholic state as messengers of Christ.

Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz said during an interview in the documentary that, “yes, yes, yes… [there are] more reports on pedophilia and homosexuality.”

“It is a heinous crime, you know. And a priest at that? Violating a minor? Come on!” he added.

Some priests who grow to become revered and trusted members within the communities they serve have turned their backs onto their celibate promise and holy creeds and ended up harassing members of the community.

In the documentary, they interviewed a 15-year old named “Imelda” who was sexually abused by a priest.

She had sought to pursue a case against the priest, but was coerced into accepting bribe money and to drop the charges.

“At first, I didn’t really want to accept the money because I already knew it was from a priest, but they were so insistent that I take the money,” she said.

Imelda was given P7,500 to keep silent on the issue.

Fr. Jaime Achacoso from the Canon Law Society of the Philippines and a lawyer who handled cases like Imelda’s, said that even when these abuses have become public knowledge, these sinning priests are still not removed from their post.

“Oh yes, they weren’t (removed from their post), unfortunately. And the inadequate investigations in the past have festered, so things have not been solved,” he told Al Jazeera.

“Priests continue to be there,” he added.

Achacoso reasons that sometimes these priests are not removed even when they are caught red-handed amidst the misdeeds because of the scarcity of priests in the Philippines.

“The bishop is caught between the devile and the deep blue sea, so to speak, that if he has this priest and he’s the only one he has to say mass (and) to attend to the needs of the faithful (in a specific community), and if they’re (priests) misbehaving, he (Bishop) is caught (in between) do I fire them? Then who will say mass, etc.?” Achacoso explained.
However, the shortcomings of the Church has become more apparent.

Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte was in hot waters after commenting “your God is stupid” on the Catholic belief of the Creation and Original Sin.

The President himself shared an experience of being molested by an American priest before when he was still when he was attending a Jesuit school in Davao City.

While the recent rift between Church and state will be addressed soon in the person of Duterte and Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Romulo Valles, the misconducts of the Church remain a reality.

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