"Here in the Philippines, pedophilia involving priests has never been a problem," says Archbishop Oscar Cruz

He said he hasn’t encountered a single case.

Leslie Ann Aquino of the Manila Bulletin reports: "Retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz said while pedophilia cases involving priests may be common in other countries such as in Europe and North America, this is not common in the Philippines."


Cruz made the statement at a recent Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) forum, following the revelation that Pope Benedict XVI had defrocked nearly 400 priests for raping and molesting children in his last two years as Pope.


The report noted: "Cruz said that in all the years that he has been part of the CBCP National Matrimonial Tribunal he has yet to handle a pedophilia case involving a Filipino priest." In fact, he said, "Here in the Philippines, pedophilia involving priests has never been a problem."


Cruz, however, admitted that there may have been cases that didn’t get reported. "Maybe it just did not reach my office or the priest just left without bothering about the church norms anymore," he said.


In any case, Cruz revealed that most of the cases that he handled involved the priest's violation of his obligation on celibacy and continence. He explained, "Most of the cases are about a priest being involved with a woman...or a priest getting married which is against celibacy."


For more on this story, log on to the Manila Bulletin’s website.

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