CBCP President Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo, OMI, has confirmed that a protocol is currently being prepared to guide the Philippine Church in handling cases of priest
sex-offenders. The move comes in the wake of a series of reported cases in the United States of sex-related scandals involving members of the clergy and in response to inquiries on what the Church in the
Philippines is doing to address such issues if and when they occur here.
While individual cases that have been brought to the attention of and acted upon by the Bishops in teh dioceses and religious superiors of
congregations, the CBCP said, a general protocol for the dioceses has been deemed necessary at this time.
Archbishop Quevedo added that the protocol is expected to be completed next year, explaining that what the
Conference is working on is "a comprehensive document that should properly consider both the laws of the land and the law of the Church."
"It would have to distinguish between various forms of offense and determine
the procedures to respond to each form. It should determine the sanctions necessary, including the penalties of the laws of the land," he said. "It should also define the responsibilities of Superiors, of
communities and the whole People of God. It should define the areas of cooperation between civil and Church authorities, etc."
The drafting of a protocol has been given to a special group, he continued.
The draft will then be submitted for study during the Bishops Plenary Assembly in July and January 2003.