No Verdict on Bacani Yet, Apostolic Nunciature Says

By Marie Neri
Sun Star [Philippines]
July 22, 2003

VATICAN has not issued any decision yet on the sexual raps against Novaliches Bishop Teodoro Bacani.

Fr. Walter Erbi, second secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature, said Archbishop Antonio Franco, Vatican's representative to the Philippines, has not received any communication from Rome on the case of Bishop Bacani.

"There was no decision yet and we have not received any," Fr. Erbi said in a telephone interview.

According to Fr. Erbi should there be any ruling, the Apostolic Nunciature would be informed immediately.

"As of this time we have nothing to say and there was no report so far," Erbi said.

Reports claimed the Vatican has released its ruling declaring Bishop Bacani not guilty of the sexual harassment charges lodged by his secretary of five years, France Elaine Ventura.

Fr. Dave Clay from the Columbian fathers, in a separate interview, admitted he received a text message from the Center for Peace saying the Vatican has cleared Bacani of the sexual raps.

"I don't know where the information came from but I did get a text message that says Bacani has been cleared by the Vatican," Fr. Clay said.

Center for Peace, a Marian organization situated in Mandaluyong, on the other hand, denied reports they were responsible for the spread of the talks about Bishop Bacani's case.

However, a member of its staff who requested not to be named admitted she was the one who received and relayed the text message to Fr. Clay.

"I'm the one who received the message but Center for Peace has nothing to do with it. It was a personal message which I forwarded to Fr. Clay for confirmation," the staff member said.

She further explained that they even traced where the message originated but the sender of the message said it was also only forwarded to him by a friend, who, in turn, just received a forwarded message.

"We never really had the chance to identify the original sender of the message or where it came from," the source lamented.

Monsignor Romulo Ranada, designated spokesman of Bishop Bacani, similarly denied the reports that Vatican has issued its rulings.

Bishop Bacani last June 7 left for Kansa City to give the Nuncio and the Philippine Church officials room for investigation on the sexual harassment charges filed by his 35-year-old secretary.

Bacani's relatives, meanwhile, said the Prelate who has diabetes is still in US and undergoing treatment.


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