Wolves in Shepherds Clothing

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Abstract

Onato, A.C. (2017). Wolves in Shepherds’ Clothing: An Investigative Study on Clergy’s Alleged Misconduct and the Implementation of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ Pastoral Guidelines on Sexual Abuses and Misconduct by the Clergy and the Philippine Child Protection Laws. Published Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.

This research probed the implementation of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) Pastoral Guidelines on Sexual Abuses and Misconduct by the Clergy, which serves as localization of the Canon Law’s provisions on the misconduct committed by the clergies.

Using the Open Systems Theory and the Accountability Theory as its framework and Fr. Arwyn Diesta as case study, the research assessed the efficiency of the church’s accountability mechanism when it comes to clergy sexual abuses.

Through extensive in-depth interviews via the people trail and evaluation of key documents via the paper trail, the research found that the CBCP Pastoral Guidelines do not adhere to the Canon Law’s provisions on how to deal with clergy sexual abuses in the Philippines, in the process jeopardizing the efficient handling of the cases by the institution. In fact, the Pastoral Guidelines were rejected by the Vatican due to the ‘One- Child Policy’ clause. Thus, the framework of the guidelines is flawed.

Although rejected by the Vatican, the Pastoral Guidelines are yet to be updated by the CBCP and are still in use up to now, making it all the more difficult to discipline and even penalize sexually misbehaving priests in the country.

The findings are in a four-part series written in a journalistic manner.

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