Paterno Esmaquel II
MANILA, Philippines – The Society of Jesus, which runs a network of prominent Ateneo schools in the Philippines, sees a recently publicized sex abuse case as a call to examine itself, especially its work of caring for minors.
The sex abuse case involves a former Jesuit, now dead, who allegedly abused a Jesuit high school student named Lucas (not his real name) from 1984 to 1987. At the time, the alleged abuser was a Jesuit seminarian.
Citing “institutional culpability,” Lucas wants the Society of Jesus, better known as the Jesuits, to pay him $16 million in damages. He also wants justice, making those in positions of power, who were allegedly complicit in the abuse, accountable.
In an interview with Rappler on November 22, Fr Jose Quilongquilong SJ said, “On the part of the Society, we see this as an invitation to examine ourselves, because in terms of the mind of the Church – with all the cases which happened since 2000 in other places, and with Pope Francis now – there is no place for this sexual abuse in the Church.”
Quilongquilong is the priest assigned by Fr Antonio Moreno SJ, the head or provincial superior of the Society of Jesus in the Philippines, to investigate Lucas’ case. The president of the Loyola School of Theology, he also represented Moreno in at least two meetings with the alleged victim’s lawyer.
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