Carlos Celdran shared "clergy sexual abuse" reports by Likhaan on Facebook hours before his arrest

Hours before he was arrested for protesting against the Catholic Church’s anti-Reproductive Health Bill stance during an ecumenical service, artist-activist-tour-guide Carlos Celdran shared on his Facebook page a link to Likhaan reports on "clergy sexual abuse." He posted, "(I’m) reading Likhaan reports on child abuse and impunity within the Philippine Catholic Church. Complete with names. http://fb.me/KHKxNB96"

The link leads to an article on the case of Fr. Agustin Cuenca, supposedly part of the December 2004 "Report on How the Holy See’s Laws Impact the Philippines’ Compliance with the Convention" by the Likhaan Center for Women’s Health Inc., Child Justice League and Catholics for a Free Choice.

According to the article, Cuenca was allegedly assigned to the Our Lady of the Abandoned Church in Sta. Ana, Manila more than a decade ago. He was reportedly accused of sexually molesting two male acolytes aged 15 and 16, from December 1988 to June 1990. The article reads: "The administrative case submitted to then Philippine Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin was apparently referred to Cuenca’s superior in the Order of the Friars Minor, (Franciscans) who merely transferred Cuenca to a different parish in the province. At present, Cuenca is supposedly back in Manila. No information is available as to whether he was further investigated or whether he has undergone treatment and rehabilitation or not."

Among the other alleged cases of sexual abuse by priests, the report mentioned that of Fr. Macario Apuya. Citing unidentified national newspapers, the report said Apuya allegedly raped a 14-year-old girl while his mother watched. The incident supposedly happened in Vigan, Ilocos Sur in 1997. The case went to court and the judge purportedly ruled in 2002 that the girl’s allegations "could not have been possible in the first place." According to the article, "The judge could not imagine either a clergy abusing a minor or that a cleric’s mother (would) allow and/or condone her priest son to commit such abuse." The report quoted the judge’s supposed decision: "The accused may have been a flirt and he may have nearly crossed the threshold of perdition, but certainly he was no child molester, much less rapist."

Likhaan, the website says, is a "collective of grassroots women and men, health advocates and professionals dedicated to promoting and pushing for the health and rights of disadvantaged women and their communities."

For more on this story, log on to Likhaan.net and check out Carlos Celdran’s Facebook account.

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