Church announces Pope’s dismissal order vs Borongan priest
MANILA, Philippines — The Diocese of Borongan on Sunday announced Pope Francis’ dismissal of Pio C. Aclon from the clerical state due to alleged sexual abuse involving minors.
In a letter dated July 18 and signed by Father James B. Abella, it said that Aclon is no longer a cleric and cannot exercise priestly ministry in the church.
“Notice is hereby given that the Holy Father Pope Francis has dismissed from the clerical state PIO CULTURA ACLON of the Diocese of Borongan. He is, therefore, no longer a cleric and cannot exercise priestly ministry in the Church,” it said.
In a news article released by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) the same day, it was noted that Pope Francis has “repeatedly apologized” for the reported abuses and promised to restore justice.
Moreover, CBCP assured that there would be no cover-up in the sexual abuse case involving the clergy.
“The CBCP has also created an office that will help protect minors from alleged sexual abuses by the clergy,” it said.
“Each diocese had also developed its own system for handling reports of sexual abuse or misconduct,” CBCP added.
Meanwhile, just a few hours after the announcement, Aclon demanded a copy of Pope Francis’ dismissal letter through a Facebook post.
“You announce this Bishop Crispin Varquez and the Diocese of Borongan, now where is the letter of Pope Francis? I give you 10 days to provide us the letter,” he said.
“The same thing we ask to provide us the 1951 Vatican Decree issued against the Lipa Apparition You may send it to my legal counsel, Justice Harriet Demetriou. Actually you have been telling this to people during the death of Nanay. I REPEAT SEND THE LETTER OF POPE FRANCIS TO MY LAWYER,” he furthered.
The terminated priest is also known for his influence in the spreading of devotion to “Mary Mediatrix of All Grace” which was said to have shown itself through an apparition to a Carmelite Novice in 1948.
However, this was denounced by the Vatican and was considered “with no supernatural character and origin.”
INQUIRER.net has tried reaching out to the Diocese of Borongan, CBCP, and Aclon for a statement but has yet to receive one as of posting time.