Church vows no cover-up in priest’s alleged rape case

Church vows no cover-up in priest’s alleged rape case

By CBCP News

July 4, 2019

Manila, Philippines

The Catholic Church vowed no cover-up in the case of Fr. Daniel Baul, who is wanted by authorities over alleged sexual abuse of a teenage girl in Pampanga.

Archbishop Florentino Lavarias of San Fernando has assured cooperation with civil authorities to resolve the case.

During the filing of the criminal case and at the inception of the church investigation, Archbishop Lavarias said he was assured by Fr. Baul that “he will squarely face the matter before the proper fora”.

But the archbishop claimed no idea as to the priest’s whereabouts at this stage of the case.

“I trust his word previously given to me that he will not evade the case, and will in due time, appear in court to support his claim of innocence,” Lavarias said in a statement.

“Meantime, the civil authorities may rest assured that the Archdiocese will not keep F.r Baul from the reach of the law,” he said.

Authorities are searching for the priest suspected of raping a 17-year-old girl in a church-based center for women and children.

“I continue to appeal to the better judgement of all. I admonish you to pray and care for both Fr Baul and the alleged victim,” the archbishop added.

“In our common desire to search for truth and justice, let our passion be tempered by prudence, decency and respect,” he also said.