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Timesman: Who to believe?

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle admitted that the Catholic Church left deep wounds when it ignored the sufferings of the victims of the clergy’s sex abuses. Tagle was the first speaker on the protection of minors during a high-level summit to protect sexual abuses committed by Church leaders held at the Vatican last week.
But CBCP – Public Affairs Committee (PAC) executive secretary Fr. Jerome Secillano is quick to correct Tagle’s admission by saying that the Cardinal was not only referring to the Philippines but also to the whole Church. He said that sexual abuses committed by the clergy were not only against minors but adults as well but was also quick to clarify that the assault against adults were most likely “consensual affairs.”
Ewan ko, the clarification maybe justifiable but Church critics might think that Secillano and Tagle are not seeing eye-to-eye that they are making contradicting statements on Church abuses.
Secillano seemed trying to confuse the public when he said that the assault against adults were most likely “consensual affairs.”
In my interpretation of a consensual affair that is used in court as defense of a rape suspect, the adults who do it agree to do it so that the affair cannot be called rape.
Secillano is trying to justify that those being abused allowed the acts to be done on them.
Maybe he’s right but it is very clear that what those involved in the affair, the priest and his partner, are also committing a sin because the Church prohibits it.
Anyway, my readers might not know it yet that there are already survivors who came to the open and narrated their harrowing experiences in the hands of some priests.
In a report of AFP and published in national dailies, many victims of clerical pedophilia reported:
“The first thing they did was to treat me as a liar, turn their backs and tell me that I, and others, were enemies of the Church.
“You are the physicians of the soul and yet, with rare exceptions, you have been transformed – in some cases – into murderers of the soul into murderers of the faith.
“The only think I ask of you – and I ask the Holy Spirit – to help restore that trust in Church, so that those who do not want to listen to the Holy Spirit and want to cover-up, leave the Church to give way to those who want to create a new Church, a renewed Church and a Church absolutely free from sexual abuse.”
“From the age of 15, I had sexual relations with a priest. This lasted for 13 years. I got pregnant three times and he made me an abortion three times, quite simply because he did not want to use condoms or contraceptives.
“At first I trusted him so much that I did not know he could abuse me. I was afraid of him, and every time I refuse to have sex with him, he would beat me.
“And since I am completely dependent on him economically, I suffered all the humiliations he inflicted on me.”
“An encounter with a priest hurt me. As a teenager, after my conversion, I went to the priest so he could teach me how to read the Scriptures during mass; and he touched my private parts. I spent a night in his bed. This hurt me deeply.
“The other thing that hurt me was the bishop who to whom, after many years, as an adult, I talked about the incident…I met the bishop and he attacked me without trying to understand me, and this hurt me.”
“I still carry pain. My parents still carry pain at the dysfunction, the betrayal, the manipulation, that this bad man – who was our Catholic priest at the time – wrought upon my family and myself.
“I would ask the bishops for leadership. Leadership and vision and courage.”
“I have been sexual molested for a long time, over a hundred times, and this sexual molestation has created traumas and flashbacks all across my life. It’s difficult to be with people, to get connected with people.
“They have all practically covered (up) every issue covered (up for) the perpetrators and that kills me.” – AFP.
After reading some portions of the testimonies of survivors about their traumatic experiences, I now leave to my readers to decide who to blame – the priests or the victims of their sexual molestation?
I noticed that President Duterte is mum after that no less Pope Francis’ admission of the issue. Dapat lang, inamim na nila ang akusasyun nito sa mga pari.


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