Banished Priest to Leave Ministry

By Hurley Timothy
Honolulu Advertiser (Honolulu, HI)
May 22, 2003

Nearly four months after he was banished from the Diocese of Honolulu for admitting to sexual misconduct with a minor in the Philippines, the Rev. Roberto Batoon has agreed to leave the ministry of the Catholic Church.

Hawai'i church officials were informed of Batoon's intentions in a letter received from the Philippines yesterday, said Patrick Downes, diocese spokesman.

Downes said Batoon volunteered to be defrocked as a result of a recent meeting with Laoag Bishop Ernesto Salgado.

Batoon was removed from his job as administrator of three Moloka'i churches in January after admitting the misconduct, which occurred in Laoag in northern Luzon. Honolulu Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo ordered Batoon to return home and report to his bishop for possible further action.

The 57-year-old priest, who served in Hawai'i churches since 1997, apparently didn't report to Salgado right away. As late as three weeks ago, Laoag Chancellor Ian Rabigo said his former colleague had failed to show up.

Before moving to Moloka'i in August 2001, Batoon was associate pastor at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Pearl City from 1997 to 1999, and at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in 'Ewa Beach from 1999 to 2001.

Downes said the Honolulu Diocese has not received any similar complaints against Batoon from his work in Hawai'i.

Salgado also indicated that no one had filed a complaint against Batoon in his diocese, Downes said.


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