FABC holds closed meeting on abuse

November 23, 2011 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

The Church in AsiaThailand, November 21, 2011: The Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences last week concluded a meeting to address growing concerns in Asia over sexual abuse within the Church.

Conference organizers barred access and refused comment to journalists attempting to cover the event.

A letter posted by the Federation’s Office of the Clergy in January invited “cardinals, archbishops, bishops and formators” to convene in Bangkok from November 14-19 to discuss “letters from different quarters of the Church that pedophilia has already become a considerably serious problem in Asia.”

Father Lawrence Pinto, executive secretary of the Office of the Clergy, told ucanews.com on November 18 that the conference, titled “The Impact of Pedophilia – Crisis in the Church in Asia,” was closed to journalists and advised not to attempt to visit the venue, King David Hall on the campus of Assumption University.

A staff member of the FABC added that the seminar was “closed door” and that Fr Pinto did not want media to attend.

Attendees scheduled to address the seminar included Monsignor Charles J Scicluna, promoter of justice with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Benedictine Abbot Michael Kelly, who was slated to discuss the role of Church leaders in handling sexual abuse cases, particularly cases of pedophilia, according to the FABC letter.

Among other objectives, the seminar aimed to formulate specific guidelines for dealing with the crisis of pedophilia in Asia, the letter stated.

“Let us not be complacent that pedophilia is a problem of the West or the other continents of the world; it is equally prevalent in many countries in Asia,” the letter stated.

The Church in Asia is bound “to take drastic and immediate measures to contain this issue of child abuse within the Church circles, and to deal with it squarely, without delay, before it will go out of hand like it has done in the other countries in the world,” the letter added.

The letter further noted that the issue was “important and urgent” because “many a priest, religious sister, including bishops/formators are not aware of what in reality is pedophilia, and what it does to the child-victim.”

– ucan

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