Watch: Sexual Abuses by Catholic Priests in the Philippines Investigated (Al Jazeera Documentary Video)
As we all know, there have been allegations of sexual abuses by Catholic priests in the Philippines. In fact, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is not denying that there were accusations. But what were the actions made by the Catholic Church against alleged pedophile priests. Watch the Al Jazeera documentary video below.
Titled “Sins of the Father: Sexual Misconduct in the Philippines’ Catholic Church,” Al Jazeera visited the Philippines to investigate some cases of alleged victims of sexual harassment from Catholic priests in the country. It also featured Fr. Jose Elmer Cajilig (Cahilig), who is only one of the many local priests with children, and wants to get married.
“We made a lot of noise in order for us to be heard by our bishops and also by Rome. We wrote letters, we sent emails in order for them to accept us.” Fr Elmer Cahilig said, referring to their request for optional celibacy, or allowing priests to get married and to raise a family. In earlier centuries, Catholic priests, bishops and the Pope can marry.
Meanwhile, retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz, who is now the head of the Catholic Church’s National Tribunal of Appeals in the Philippines, admits receiving more complaints of sexual abuses from local Catholic priests. However, he stressed out that this is because people especially in the urban areas are now alert, and are now more courageous to speak out.
“I may be offending other bishops but this is a personal stand, that gone are the days when you can just close your eyes and plug your ears…It is a heinous crime, you know. And a priest at that? Violating a minor? Come on!” He said, adding that there are more reports on paedophilia and homosexuality among Philippine Catholic priests.
On the latter part of this Al Jazeera documentary, some alleged victims of sexual harassment by Philippine Catholic priests speak up. This includes a young girl who claimed receiving money to withdraw the charges, and Michal Gatchalian, who is now a licensed attorney. But sad to say, none of the abusive priests has been convicted in court.