Borongan bishop defends self after making public dismissal of priest
TACLOBAN CITY — Bishop Crispin Varquez of the Borongan Diocese said he did nothing wrong by informing the public about Pope Francis’ decision to dismiss a priest due to alleged sexual abuse of minors.
Through his attorney, Collen Calleja, Varquez responded to Fr. Pio Aclon’s threat to file charges against him for disclosing the dismissal.
Varquez stated that as the chief shepherd of Borongan, he was simply performing his duty when he authorized the posting of “Informationis Causa” on the Diocese of Borongan’s social media on Sept. 17, which announced Aclon’s removal as a priest.
Calleja noted that Varquez never aimed to humiliate Aclon.
“On the matter of the Informationis Causa, there is nothing libelous or slanderous about the notice. It is information to the public on a matter of fact, that the priest in question has been laicized,” Calleja said in a Sept. 25 letter addressed to Aclon.
“Our client (Varquez) acted on his canonical duty to inform the public of the Vatican’s decision by issuing the Informationis Causa. He acted based on the existence and truth of the Vatican documents regarding the dismissal of Mr. Aclon from the clerical state, hence, malice cannot be imputed against him,” the lawyer added.
On Sept. 18, Aclon’s lawyer, Delyen Madula, sent a demand letter asking Varquez to clarify why Aclon was dismissed. Madula mentioned that failure to respond would result in filing complaints against Varquez.