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.
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid