Print Version    Email to Friend
Around the traps

Australian missionary staves off Philippine deportation again
MANILA (UCAN): Sister Patricia Fox, of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion, who has been facing down the government of Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, won a reprieve from deportation after her lawyers filed a motion for reconsideration on July 22.
The Bureau of Immigration found the nun to allegedly be “in violation of the limitations and conditions of her missionary visa” for reportedly joining partisan political activities.
Philippine authorities ordered her immediate deportation, yet again on July 19, after she was declared an “undesirable alien” by immigration authorities (Sunday Examiner, July 29).
“The deportation order cannot be enforced until it becomes final… With the filing of the appeal, the deportation will not be executed,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra explained.
“We froze the implementation of the order against Sister Fox pending her appeal. She can stay in the country while waiting for the final order,” immigration bureau spokesperson, Dana Krizia Sandoval, said. 
Sister Fox can also apply for the extension of her missionary visa, which will expire on September 2, because “the order to include her on the (immigration) blacklist is also suspended.”
Her lawyer said the immigration bureau’s decision to deport the nun was based on “a false and unfounded statement” by Duterte.
The lawyers argue that Sister Fox has been working in the country for the past 27 years and has only been persecuted by Duterte’s administration.
The motion appealed to the bureau to be “objective enough and consider her arguments, not public pronouncements by the president.” 
Sister Fox said, “This legal battle cannot hinder me from doing what I am doing best. I cannot be deterred in amplifying the voice of the poor while struggling with my own fight.” 
Chilean cardinal called to testify for suspected abuse cover-up
VATICAN (CNS): The Chilean prosecutor’s office has issued a subpoena to Riccardo Cardinal Ezzati of Santiago, Chile, regarding his role in the alleged cover-up of sexual abuse by members of the clergy. 
The subpoena is believed to be related to the case of Father Oscar Muñoz Toledo, the former chancellor of the archdiocese, who was arrested on July 12 following allegations that he had abused seven minors in Santiago and Rancagua since 2002. 
In a statement released by the Archdiocese of Santiago on July 24, Cardinal Ezzati said he was committed to helping victims “search for the truth” and denied any wrongdoing. 
“I have the conviction that I have never covered up nor obstructed justice, and as a citizen, I will fulfill my duty of providing all records that will help to clarify the facts,” he said. 
The archdiocese confirmed that Cardinal Ezzati is scheduled to testify on August 21. 
The prosecutor from Rancagua, Emiliano Arias, accompanied by police, conducted two search-and-seizure operations of archdiocesan offices in connection with the charges against Father Muñoz as well as several other pending investigations. 
Bishop of the Wheelchair a good shepherd for ex-Khmer Rouge
BATTAMBANG (CNS): Within weeks of the collapse of the final remnants of the Khmer Rouge in late 1998, Jesuit Father Enrique Figaredo visited some of the movement’s last-standing cadres after hearing they needed assistance. 
During the country’s decades-long civil war (1968 to 1975), many had lost limbs to landmines and were struggling after the group’s ultra-communist leadership had defected, died or been arrested. 
While many people would have been apprehensive, to say the least, about entering an area that until recently had been controlled by one of the most feared revolutionary movements of the 20th century, Father Figaredo, prefect of the Apostolic Prefecture of Battambang, saw it as his calling. 
“I remember going to one of the furthest corners of Cambodia,” he told recounted from inside the grounds of Battambang Catholic Church. 
“They asked for my support. I went to see them and gave them chickens so they could have eggs and meat. I also gave them small loans,” most of which are still being put to use today, he said. 
“You could feel very fast that they were still trapped within a military structure, but that they were still very human,” he explained. 
“We related to the human side. I’m sure a few of them made some very regrettable mistakes, but not all,” Father Figaredo said.

More from this section