The benefit of “Asylum”, supposedly asked from the CBCP by a now well-known woman for the multibillion peso worth of scams occasioned by the now infamous PDAF and DAP, recently came to fore. And as accordingly reported by tri-media, the said favor was denied by the same ecclesiastical institution as conveyed by its Archbishop-President. It then comes to order to but simply and briefly address the what, the why and when of “Asylum” as far as the Catholic Church is concerned.
It might be good to first clarify the nature of the “Asylum” herein considered has nothing to do with any kind of sanitarium, a mental institution or any kind of a given place of housing. Instead, the “Asylum” herein relevant means a place of refuge or sanctuary basically intended to protect the presumed innocent individual from unjust prosecution, particularly on the part of one or more indicting State agencies concerned. There was a time when Churches, convents and other perceived safe places usually served as “Asylum” for persecuted innocent persons.
While the quest for formal “Asylum” is no longer that relevant nor as commonly practiced as before, every now and then, however, there are one or more individuals who seek the care and protection of some priests or religious men and/or women usually when they feel desperate in keeping their safety, in protecting their lives. In these days, they are usually known as “whistle blowers” who feel they are in danger from known and powerful personalities for having publicly revealed the latter’s grave misdeeds.
During these days, there are certain basic assumptions that come to fore in the matter of seeking and obtaining “Asylum” from Church entities: First and foremost is that the one who seeks it should enjoy the presumption of innocence. Otherwise, it could be simply interpreted as harboring a criminal. Second and quite important is that the Church entity concerned should be reasonably able to provide safety to the one concerned. Otherwise, it could even in effect put in danger its supposed innocent “protégée”. Third and worth seriously considering is that there is reasonable assumption that the State agency concerned would still respect the pro-truth and pro-justice stance of the Church entity concerned.