The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines declares: The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable. (Article II, Section 6), and, No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights. (Article III, Section 5). From Wikipedia
The Pajero Bishops was a label given to one priest and six bishops, who were involved in a controversy for receiving luxury vehicles from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). Said vehicles were claimed to be sourced from the charity fund of PCSO to win their support for former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who faced impeachment charges in 2007-2010. From WikiPilipinas
“My dear youth, contraception is corruption. The use of government money, taxpayers’ money to give out contraceptive pills is corruption. Contraceptive pills teach us it is all right to have sex with someone provided you are safe from babies. Babies are a nuisance.” Archbishop Soc Villegas
“It is not true that the Church has no compassion for the poor. If others see the poor as statistics, the Church sees them as human beings,” Manila Archbishop Tagle.
Here are snapshots of the cases:
Rev. Cristobal Garcia
Garcia was expelled from the Dominican order in 1986 after a nun told police that an altar boy had been found in his bed in a Los Angeles rectory. The priest left for his hometown in the Philippines in Cebu province, where he continued to serve and in 1997 was given the title of monsignor.
Monsignor Pedro Quitorio, media director of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, said he had not heard about the Garcia case but that it should be looked into.
Garcia told the Dallas Morning News that he did have sex with the boys, but claimed he was the one who was "seduced and raped," a charge his accusers called absurd. A plaintiff, Paul Corral, said he had obtained a financial settlement.
Rev. Manuel Perez Maramba
A lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by Maramba in the U.S. more than than 30 years ago was settled this month. The settlement was the third reached with the diocese of El Paso, Texas, and others in allegations of sexual abuse by the same Filipino priest.
Maramba's lawyers said he was not party to the settlement.
"Since Father Maramba was not a party to the proceedings that resulted in the reported settlement, there is nothing to deny or admit other than that he was assigned to the parish of Las Cruces in 1976-77," said the statement from the law firm Saguisag, Carao & Associates. "That a settlement was reached does not in any way indicate fault on the part of any party."
Maramba served at St. Genevieve Church in Las Cruces, N.M., from 1976-77 and at the Newman Center in Silver City, N.M., before being recalled to the Philippines in 1977 by his abbey.
Rev. Santiago Tamayo
After Tamayo was accused of abusing Rita Milla in the Los Angeles area, the church urged Tamayo to stay in the Philippines and mailed him checks, court documents show.
Milla has maintained that she was molested by Tamayo at a church in Carson, Calif., when she was 16. After she turned 18, she said, she had sexual intercourse with Tamayo and he introduced her to six other priests who also abused her.
After she was impregnated in 1982 by another priest at a Los Angeles-area church, Milla said, Tamayo suggested she get an abortion, then devised a plan to send her to the Philippines to have the child.
Milla returned to California after giving birth to her daughter, Jacqueline. She sued the archdiocese in 1984, and won a $500,000 settlement.
Tamayo later went to the Philippines. In 2004, Milla's lawyer released documents showing the church mailed him checks. In three letters, church officials advised him not to reveal the source of the payments "unless requested under oath," noting that he was "liable for personal suits arising out of your past actions."
Tamayo admitted he had sex with Milla and publicly apologized years before his death in 1999.
Experts say the church is facing a crisis of historic proportion. "This is the type of problem that arises really once in a century, I think, and it might even be more significant," said Paul Collins, an Australian church historian and former priest.
It is feared that the church scandals could be the final blow on the laity whose commitment are already wavering. A growing number of the faithful demands the church to be transparent, fight against pedophiles and reconsider the rule of priestly celibacy.
Rev. Moises Alexis C. Javier
Javier was accused by two altar boys (one 18 and another 19 at the time) of molesting them in 2001-02 at a Catholic school about three hours west of Manila, in the Philippines.
Javier left in 2002. The former bishop of his diocese told the AP that Javier went to the U.S., where his parents and a sister live. "We allowed him," the former bishop said. "His mother got sick and he went there to take care of her."
Ryan Mau, the parish secretary at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Rowland Heights, Calif., said Javier was the parish's associate pastor for two years, starting sometime in 2003. Javier died on Jan. 23, 2008.
The AP has copies of two letters sent in June 2002 by the lay leaders at the St. Columban parish in Olongapo to then-Bishop Deogracias Iniguez and other diocesan leaders about the alleged abuse.
Frustrated by the lack of action, one of the lay leaders, Olet Enriquez, e-mailed the Vatican in September 2003 to report the alleged sexual harassment. He said he got an unsigned reply telling him to take his case to the papal nuncio in Manila. He said he sent a lengthy follow-up letter to the same Vatican e-mail address in January 2004, restating the case, but never got a reply.
“Ewan ko lang kung yan ay coincidence lang o dahil nga may pinapasabi ang Diyos sa atin na kapag iyan ay pinag-uusapan ng matindi ay parang may mensahe na nangyayari na maraming kahirapan na nagaganap sa atin," Pabillo said in an interview with Radio Veritas.
MANILA, Philippines - Is it coincidence or an act of God? According to Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, tragedy always seems to happen whenever the controversial Reproductive Health bill is being discussed in Congress.
Rabidly Anti-P. NoyMANILA, Philippines - The fight against the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill is the biggest challenge the Catholic Church is facing this Christmas season, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said yesterday.
Batangas Archbishop Ramon Arguelles yesterday said that while a 20-year-old gunman killed 20 children in the US, President Aquino would be killing millions of children with a stroke of a pen if he signs the RH bill into law.
“Our President intends to kill 20 million children with a fountain pen…to sign the RH bill into law,” he said. From Philippine Star