Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources

Catholic World News News Feature

Sex-abuse scandal in Philippines involves priests with women September 22, 2003

At least 34 priests have been suspended from ministry in the Philippines, as a sex-abuse scandal broadens in that country.

Father James Reuter, a spokesman for the apostolic nuncio in the Philippines, told the Manila Times that 20 priests had been suspended in one diocese, and 14 in another, because of allegations of sexual harassment. He declined to identify the dioceses involved.

The bishops of the Philippines are currently working on a policy for dealing with charges of sexual abuse. The Church there has been shaken by a series of stories about priestly sexual misconduct. In the Philippines, unlike in the United States, most of the stories have involved priests who have become involved with young women.

The scandal in the Philippines has already touched two bishops. Bishop Crisostomo Yalung of Antipolo resigned after confessing that he had conducted an affair with a young women, and was the father of her children. Bishop Teodoro Bacani of Novaliches is now being investigated on similar charges.