09/01/2018, 10.52
PHILIPPINES
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Abuse scandal, the 'pain and shame' of the Filipino bishops

The president of the Philippine Episcopal Conference (CBC) demands "urgent answers that show us the truth". "We are a Church of sinners, called to conversion and to holiness at the same time". Msgr. Valles follows Pope Francis and invites Catholics to prayer and fasting.

Manila (AsiaNews) - The revelations about sexual scandals and the way they are dealt with by the Church "raise more painful questions that obviously require urgent answers that show us the truth". This is what Msgr. Romulo G. Valles, Archbishop of Davao and president of the Philippine Episcopal Conference (CBC), in a message released yesterday.

"In these last days, we feel pain and shame again, with increasing intensity," reads the note. "Pain - underlines Msgr. Valles - is made stronger by alleged silences on these abuses and crimes ". Without mentioning names, the bishop remembers those who recently gave "greater vigor" to the suffering of the Church and underlines what was declared by the Filipino bishops last July: "We humbly admit that we are a Church of sinners, called to conversion and holiness at the same time. We bow in shame when we hear that the abuses are committed by some of our Church leaders, especially those ordained to 'act in the person of Christ'. "

Msgr. Valles dwells at length on what was declared by Pope Francis in his "Letter to the People of God", of which he quotes some passages. "The present painful situation is a good opportunity for us bishops to revisit and revise the existing guidelines on the protection of children and vulnerable adults, and with renewed determination and commitment to put them into practice and not to hide them", underlines the president of the CBCP.

According to the prelate, current circumstances call the Church also "to something important: to go before the Lord in prayer". Gathering the pontiff's invitation, Msgr. Valles concludes his message by inviting Filipino Catholics to pray and observe fasts: "This is something we can organize and do in our dioceses and parishes, in religious communities and in our basic ecclesial communities".

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