News / Asia

    Asia Next for Catholic Sex-Abuse Disclosures?

    Archbishop of Manila, Philippines, Luis Antonio Tagle, right, at Vatican-backed symposium on clerical sex abuse, Rome, Feb. 9, 2012.
    Archbishop of Manila, Philippines, Luis Antonio Tagle, right, at Vatican-backed symposium on clerical sex abuse, Rome, Feb. 9, 2012.

    Roman Catholic leaders meeting at the Vatican are being advised to expect further disclosure of incidents of child abuse by priests in Asia.

    The archbishop of Manila, Luis Antonio Tagle, is one of many senior Catholic clerics from around the world attending a meeting this week on the child-abuse issue. Their discussions centered on how the church should move forward from the many embarrassing revelations of clerical abuse of children that have become known in recent years. Tagle spoke at the final session of the symposium, called "Toward Healing and Renewal."

    The Philippine archbishop told fellow prelates that a growing number of victims of such abuse have come forward in recent years in his country, and he predicted there are likely many more cases that have not yet been disclosed.

    Tagle said many Asians are reluctant to report such incidents, fearing that by making details public they and their families will be shamed.

    The archbishop's comments follow a similar warning issued in November by the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, which called for "drastic and immediate measures" to contain the problem of abuse of minors and other vulnerable people. Pope Benedict has expressed shame and sorrow over the allegations that have rocked the church during the past decade, and he has directed bishops to agree on guidelines to prevent pedophilia by May of this year.

    The Vatican's top official for dealing with sexual abuse of minors spoke frankly Wednesday to those attending the symposium -- about 200 people including bishops, leaders of priestly orders, victims of abuse and psychologists.

    Monsignor Charles Scicluna denounced "a deadly culture of silence, or 'omerta,'" that has shrouded in secrecy many previous church investigations of abuse by clergy. He said the church's effort to prevent child abuse must have "commitment and accountability" from the entire Catholic hierarchy, and he warned bishops they can and should be removed from office if they fail to follow church guidelines on reporting abuse allegations.

    Veteran observers of Vatican policy say rarely, if ever, has a senior cleric in Rome used the word "omerta" - a serious accusation in Italian, referring to the unbreakable code of silence observed by Mafia criminal gangs -- to describe some church officials' reluctance to admit full details of abuse scandals.

    Scicluna, a priest from Malta assigned to the Vatican department that upholds and enforces church doctrine, has been dubbed a "sex-abuse prosecutor" in some media accounts from Rome this week. His formal title is "justice promoter" in the Vatican's doctrinal department, and he is known as the principal official responsible for dealing with cases of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy.

    Many victims' groups have long been critical of the Catholic Church and its bishops for shielding priests accused of sexually abusing children, often by moving pedophile priests from parish to parish instead of turning them over to civil authorities. Those same groups have also been critical of the symposium, dismissing it as a public relations maneuver.

    During the four-day symposium at Rome's Gregorian University this week, church authorities disclosed they have been notified of more than 4,000 child sex abuse cases involving clergy over the past decade.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

    You May Like

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.