Archbishop wants Church ‘housecleaning’

Archbishop wants Church ‘housecleaning’

MANILA, Feb. 9, 2017— The Catholic leadership must take President Rodrigo Duterte’s criticisms against the Church seriously by initiating intense hierarchal housecleaning, an archbishop said.

Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz, head of the Church’s dispensation desk, said it’s a “golden age” for the bishops to be more alert and brave in dealing with cases of clerical offenses.

“The bishops should be now more attentive. You just don’t keep your eyes closed to these matters. If you do, there will be more,” said the prelate.

The former Lingayen-Dagupan archbishop said it’s a “very positive issue” when someone attacks the Church’s lapses for its leaders to have a firm stand against offenders.

Duterte has repeatedly cursed the bishops and priests for lambasting the increasing cases of extrajudicial killings and his brutal campaign on drugs.

He also questioned the Church’s moral ascendancy to criticize his drug war when it needs to police its own ranks.

“Of course, it is painful. But if it is the truth, what can you do?” said Cruz.

The archbishop said the Church needs to be more vigilant and failure to address its problems would only scandalize the laity, disorient other members of the clergy, and deform the seminarians.

“This is aside from the continued tirades from the President,” Cruz warned.

The bishops have earlier “acknowledged and repented [of]” their own shortcomings but said they need to speak out against summary killings and urged Church people to continue programs to help uplift the poor. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)