Time again from the arrival to the territorial incarnation of the Catholic Church in the Philippines during the Spanish regime to these days, time and again there are downright scandals—immoral acts and dishonest living—committed by the members of the Catholic Clergy here and there, every now and then. And this shameless and disgusting phenomenon in the Church is neither a secret not a big extraordinary rarity. Much less is the serious blatant and at times even bizarre wrongdoing of the Clergy, confined to one country. Instead such gross unpriestly behavior is every now and then witnessed and experienced in other nations where the Church is present and active, and where her Clergy are assigned to different places and given different tasks.
Lately, there was the repulsive and sickening news about no less than seven Catholic priests who abused a woman in Los Angeles, U.S.A., on account of which it took no less than US$500,000.00 paid by the Archdiocese concerned to effect a case settlement. No matter what understanding, condoning posture and good will were invoked and observed in this odious and despicable episode, the case remains downright censurable and condemnable. The standing fact is that most priests the world over are faithful to their vows and dedicated to their ministries. It nevertheless also remains true that a number of their brother priests are a big curse to the people and a great humiliation to the Universal Church.
It is strictly and seriously incumbent upon the competent ecclesiastical authorities with the proper and close collaboration of upright and courageous lay people to decidedly denounce, accordingly investigate and duly penalized downright amoral and/or crooked priests—under pain of betrayal of the Church they love, the violation of the human dignity and rights of their victims, and the scandal of the people.
If errant and erratic Priests were allowed to continue their sinful life and immoral acts by the Members of the Hierarchy precisely authorized and thus expected to correct, penalize and even dismiss them from the clerical state. Then the following pitiful conclusions come to fore: woe to the Church earnestly preaching the Gospel Truth while having priests nonchalantly violating it without remorse. And in a special manner, woe to the Hierarchy who censure the socio-immoral conduct of government officials when in fact they tolerate serious unpriestly behavior of even but some members of their Clergy.
14 December 2007