Pope Francis defrocks Filipino priest accused of sexual abuse

September 18, 2023 - 11:10 AM
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Pope Francis looks on as he holds the weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, May 31, 2023. (Reuters/Guglielmo Mangiapane/File Photo)

Pope Francis has expelled a Filipino priest for sexual abuse involving minors.

The pope’s decision dismissing Pio Aclon from the clerical state was announced Sunday by the Diocese of Borongan where the priest was incardinated.

“He is, therefore, no longer a cleric and cannot exercise priestly ministry in the Church,” the diocese wrote in a circular.

This advisory was read today in all parish churches, chaplaincies and chapels of the diocese.

The circular, however, stopped short of providing further details about the priest.

Aclon last served at a minor seminary in Borongan before the diocese suspended him from his clerical duties.

Pope Francis has repeatedly apologized over the abuses, and vowed to confront abusers and restore justice.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines had assured there will be no cover-up on the sexual abuse cases involving the clergy.

The CBCP has also created an office that will help protect minors from alleged sexual abuses by the clergy.

Each diocese had also developed its own system for handling reports of sexual abuse or misconduct.