CBCP head vows Church will battle sex abuse

CBCP head vows Church will battle sex abuse

A prelate reverences the crucifix during a penitential liturgy held as part of the meeting on the protection of minors in the church at the Vatican Feb. 23, 2019. The summit brought together the pope and 190 church leaders — presidents of bishops’ conferences, the heads of the Eastern Catholic churches, superiors of men’s and women’s religious orders and Roman Curia officials. CNS/VATICAN MEDIA

By Roy Lagarde

March 2, 2019

Manila, Philippines

The head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has vowed a firm response to clergy sex abuses, saying the Church is committed to ending the “scandals”.

The crimes won’t be covered up, promised CBCP President Archbishop Romulo Valles, who just arrived back from the summit on the protection of minors at the Vatican.

“We will do whatever we can to protect minors in the Church. You heard me, no hesitation and cover-ups!” he said during a Mass at the San Pedro Cathedral in Davao City on Friday.

Valles was among the nearly 200 global church leaders who attended the landmark Vatican meeting to address the abuse crisis that is once again rocking the Church.

Delegates heard the story of the victims and how church negligence had made the situation worse.

Pope Francis has repeatedly apologized to the faithful over the global scourge, but vowed to confront abusers and restore justice.

The Davao prelate admitted their “shame” over the abuses, and asked forgiveness for the pain it caused to the victims, their families, and society.

“And with forgiveness the grace to stand up, repair and see to it that such things will not happen again in the Church,” Valles said.

Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, who served as moderator of the four-day summit, said that the pope will soon publish a new set of laws and guidelines concerning child protection.

He said that the measures will be issued “moto proprio,” on the pope’s own accord, and will be “presented and published in the near future”.

Another initiative that will be available in “a few weeks or a month or two” is a handbook or vademecum for bishops, prepared by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. WTH REPORTS FROM CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE