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Philippine Church leader apologises to youth for sex abuse

Manila (UCAN): “We bow in shame, we beg for forgiveness,” Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao, told about 15,000 delegates to this year’s National Youth Day celebration in Cebu on April 27.
 
The head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said, “We continue to say: We are so sorry and beg for forgiveness from the Lord and from those this hurt and the wrongdoing that has been done,” said the prelate during a forum with young people.
 
The archbishop assured participants at the gathering that Philippine Church leaders are “all committed and do all that we can ... to stop this. There are procedures on what to do ... to bring justice to all.” 
 
He said, “We are ready to ask for your forgiveness because in this forgiveness is the power of healing, grace coming from the Lord.” 
 
Following the Summit on Sexual Abuse at the Vatican in February this year, Archbishop Valles vowed that there would be no cover up of crimes and abuses committed by the clergy.
 
“We will do whatever we can to protect minors in the Church. You heard me, no hesitation and cover-ups,” he said in March.
 
The Philippines, Asia’s biggest Catholic country, has seen sexual abuse charges levelled against its clergy.
 
In 2002, Philippine Church leaders issued an apology for sexual abuses, including adultery, homosexuality and child abuse by 200 priests over the previous 20 years.
 
The following year, at least 34 priests were suspended in a sex abuse scandal involving the sexual harassment of women.
 
Bishop Leopoldo Jaucian, chairperson of the Episcopal Commission on Youth of the CBCP, expressed his gratitude to the Archdiocese of Cebu for hosting the event.
 
“We felt the warmth of the Cebuanos and the love, and we also experienced the (faith) from the beginning,” the bishop said.
 
National Youth Day 2021 will be held in the Archdiocese of Caceres in Bicol. 

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