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Asian bishops say abuse isn’t just ‘a problem of the West’

By HISASHI YUKIMOTO
c. 2011 Religion News Service

TOKYO (RNS/ENInews) Roman Catholic bishops from across Asia will hold a summit on “The Impact of Pedophilia” in the Catholic Church, saying abusive priests are not simply “a problem of the West.”

The Federation of Roman Catholic Asian Bishops’ Conferences will host a seminar for bishops and clergy Nov. 14-19 at Assumption University in Bangkok, Thailand.

“(I)t is an urgent task before us, especially the leaders of the church, to come together to devise some mechanisms to prevent future occurrences of child abuse by church men/women,” the bishops’ clergy office said.

“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 of Asia,” the office said in an announcement on its website.

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On May 16, the Vatican gave all bishops conferences one year to formulate national policies on clerical sex abuse of minors. The Vatican’s chief prosecutor of abuse cases, Monsignor Charles J.
Scicluna, will be on hand to help Asian bishops craft “specific guidelines.”

The Asian bishops cited several factors that led to the summit, including “letters from different quarters of the church that pedophilia has already become a considerably serious problem in Asia.”

The bishops said they wanted to address the problem “squarely and without delay” before it got “out of hand like it has done in the other countries of the world.”

But “how many letters, I cannot tell you exactly,” the Rev. Lawrence Pinto, the office’s executive secretary, told ENInews. “In my casual talks with bishops and archbishops, they mention that it is becoming a problem. So the office of clergy decided to organize this seminar.”

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Judy Jones

    Sex abuse by clergy, plus the enabling and cover up of these crimes by church officials has been going on for centuries.

    It has only been lately, that victims are able to speak up and they are finally being believed. It is such a tragedy that so many thousands of children have been harmed within this systemic secret culture.

    Anyone who has knowledge or been harmed by a priest, bishop, nun, religious brother, or employee should report that abuse to law enforcement. Church officials have proven time and again, that they can not police themselves.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director
    “Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests”

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    I dare say it’s been happening there but it is good they apparently are not waiting till it makes the headlines.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    I would have been surprised if it wasn’t happening in that part of the world too. It would make no sense that “just the West” would be having the same situations. All those priests were/are part of the Roman Catholic Church! Happy to hear they are going to investigate.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    when thinking about the scope of the problem especially in many Asian countries the viciousness of these horrid crimes is far a far greater challenge than what has been brought forward in the Catholic crisis and the victims are in comparison invisible. If you want to go on a crusade this is a good place to start.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Allan

    There has been sexual and other abuses by the clergy throughout the history of the church. All the leaders can do isto try to weed out as much as possible. In the past the Roman Church, like many others, has tried to cover it up. I am glad to see that this is changing.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    If it is in the world it will be in clergy, clergy are humans it is that more is expected of them but they are still human. Places like Thailand and Bangkok pedophile is easily acceptable very prevalent on the scale makes the bad priest activity pale in comparison. Who speaks for this poor souls they will never get millions in lawsuits.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Goodguyex

    Something like 90% of the children in government orphanages in Asia, especially China are seriously (physically) sexually abused.

    The average age of a male homosexual prostitute in Thailand is
    16.

    Nobody likes sexual abuse by clergymen- Catholic priests, especially me. But to have an overwhelmingly disproportionate amount of attention on this smacks of either bigotry, ignorance, or at least impractically at problem solving.

    And do not expect much from governments, East or West.

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