Butuan priest charged with rape; CBCP says, "The most prudent thing to do is to wait for the decision of the court"

GMA News Online reports that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has "declined to comment any further on the pending court cases of rape and child abuse against a priest assigned in the Diocese of Butuan."

GMA News Online reports that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has declined to comment any further on the pending court cases of rape and child abuse against Fr. Raul Cabonce, a priest assigned in the Diocese of Butuan.

 

The report revealed that the 18-year-old girl who had accused Cabonce of molesting her went to the CBCP office in Intramuros, Manila last week. She was accompanied by Gabriela officials.

 

The girl, who has been assigned the alias "Leah,"  and the members of the women’s group presented a letter of appeal to the CBCP. In the two-page letter addressed to CBCP’s vice president and incoming president Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, they sought the CBCP’s "immediate action." The letter also pointed out: "It was very difficult for (Leah) to accept that Fr. Cabonce, a servant of God, and with whom her mother worked as catechist for five years, would become her sexual abuser."

 

Outgoing CBCP secretary general Msgr. Juanito Figura said that CBCP intervention is not possible at this time considering the pending court proceedings. "Since it was brought to court already, the most prudent thing to do is to wait for the decision of the court. The CBCP as a Church body would have to respect the forum of the civil court which is a state body," Figura said. The Butuan Diocese is also doing its own investigation.

 

For more on this story, log on to GMA News Online.

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