CBCP President Archbishop Romulo Valles (Photo from CBCP News)

In a pastoral letter, the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President, Archbishop Romulo Valles expressed “pain and shame” over the rising number of sexual and other abuses committed by clerics, bishops and consecrated persons.

“The reports on the sexual misconduct by a cardinal in the U.S. is one that has brought more intensity to the pain and shame now being endured by the Church,” Valles said.

Archbishop Valles pointed out that the pain is even intensified by the “reported cover-ups” of the crimes in which he vows that the CBCP will prevent.

“The recent testimony and revelation by a former Apostolic Nuncio regarding sexual misconduct and how this is being dealt with, has brought more painful questions that obviously need urgent answers that will show us the truth,” Valles said.

Church of Sinners

The Archbishop recalled the CBCP statement in July, admitting the “abuses of fellow Church leaders”, taking the accountability for their actions and accepting the duty to correct them.

“We humbly admit that we have many weaknesses and shortcomings, human as we are. We have no reason to justify our weaknesses on the basis of our participation in the human condition, because we profess faith in the God who embraced the human condition, precisely to set a new template of humanity in his son Jesus Christ,” the CBCP statement said.

Call to Action 

Archbishop Valles encouraged his fellow bishops “to revisit and review the existing guidelines” on the protection of “minors and vulnerable adults” and to “renew commitment to implement them.”

He also called on the faithful to do prayer and fasting as what Pope Francis suggested in His letter on August 20. He added that this can be organized in dioceses, parishes, religious communities, and Basic Ecclesial Communities.  (N.A. Cahinde)

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