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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.
 

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Child sexual abuse in the institutional Church

There are serious and profound changes taking place in the Catholic Church to acknowledge and prevent child sexual abuse by clerics and laypeople, to prosecute the perpetrators and to heal the victims. It is the belated result of generations of historical clerical child sexual abuse, and the denial and cover up of their crimes by some bishops and cardinals around the world. It has become a crisis for the Church as an institution.
 








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Schoolyard bullies in the sacristy

Father William Grimm MM 
 
Half a century ago, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops commissioned an interdisciplinary study of the priesthood in that country. Key parts of it were led by two priests who at the time were celebrities in the Catholic community, Father Andrew Greeley, the sociologist, and Father Eugene Kennedy, the psychologist (Disclosure: as a seminarian I was office assistant to Father Kennedy in the early stages of the study).








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Pope accepts resignation of embattled Chilean cardinal

VATICAN (CNS): Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of 77-year-old Ricardo Cardinal Ezzati of Santiago, Chile, the Vatican announced on March 23. While the Vatican did not give a reason for the cardinal stepping down, however, the cardinal has faced widespread criticism for his handling of cases of clerical sexual abuse in the country. All bishops are required to offer their resignations when they turn 75. The pope chose Bishop Celestino Aos Braco of Copiapo, who will turn 74-years-old on April 6, as diocesan administrator.
 

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Filipino sex abuse victims to sue Church in United States

TACLOBAN (UCAN): McDonald Worley, a lawyer from Texas, the United States (US), said that testimonies and evidence are being gathered for the filing of a civil suit against Father Kenneth Hendricks and a “Catholic church in Ohio” for damages.
 
Worley, is representing a group of children from the central Philippines who allege that Father Hendricks, who is now under arrest, sexually abused them.
 

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Church must follow local laws on abuse

VATICAN (CNS): Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, a leading expert in child protection, said the Church must respect the law and accept court decisions regarding clerical sexual abuse and its cover-up, in a March 15 interview with Vatican News.
 

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Wolves prowl while the muted shepherds cower

Inday Espina-Varona
 
The arrest of Father Kenneth Hendricks, an American priest who allegedly abused minors gave Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, a weapon against clergy who dare to criticise his bloody war against narcotics.
 
Police served five more arrest warrants on the priest, who was nabbed in December by a joint team of Philippine and American law enforcers in the central Philippines (Sunday Examiner, 16 December 2018).