Holy Father Strips Borongan Priest of Cleric Duties following Sexual Abuse Allegations

By: Vicente Ignatius Mate IV
September 18, 2023

Most Rev. Fr. Crispin Varquez issues a general memo to the Diocese of Borongan upon direct orders of Pope Francis due to sexual abuse allegations. Photo courtesy of the Diocese of Borongan.

The Holy Father, Pope Francis, recently dismissed Pio C. Aclon of the Diocese of Borongan, Eastern Samar based on allegations of sexually abusing minors.

The announcement was made by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Sunday, September 17, 2023, followed by an  Informationis Causa dated from July 18 posted by the Diocese on its official Facebook page.

“Notice is hereby given that the Holy Father Pope Francis has dismissed from the clerical state PIO CULTURA ACLON of the Diocese of Borongan,” stated the Diocese. 

“He [Aclon] is, therefore, no longer a cleric and cannot exercise priestly ministry in the Church,” it added. 

The advisory, signed by Fr. James Abella and through the mandate of the Most Rev. Crispin Varquez, D.D,  was read publicly in parishes, chaplaincies, and chapels from the Diocese. 

Before his suspension, Aclon formerly served in Seminario de Jesu Nazareno Minor Seminary at Borongan, Eastern Samar.

The Ex-Priest then expressed his frustration through a public Facebook post stating a 10-day demand for the Diocese to present the letter from the Holy Father to his legal counsel, explaining that such announcements should only be disclosed to the people involved. 

“... now, where is the letter of Pope Francis? I give you ten days to provide us [with] the letter,” said Aclon. 

“Matters like this are communicated to the concerned individual and not in [the] Social Media platform[s]. [The] Social Media platform[s] is [are] never part of the procedural process on matters like this,” he added as he claimed that the Bishop of Borongan violated Aclon’s rights. 

“The Bishop of Borongan should explain regarding this matter because HE VIOLATED AGAIN NOT ONLY MY CANONICAL RIGHT BUT ALSO [my] HUMAN and CIVIL RIGHTS!” wrote Aclon. 

While Pope Francis has repeatedly apologized for the abuses and promised to observe justice while confronting such abusers, the CBCP assured the public that there will be no cover-ups for sexual abuse cases involving the clergy.