Pope dismisses Borongan priest accused of sexual abuse

CNN Philippines

September 18, 2023

By Wil Mark Amazona,

Tacloban City (CNN Philippines, September 18) — A Catholic priest under the Diocese of Borongan was expelled from his clerical duties by the Vatican, the diocese announced on Sunday.

“Notice is hereby given that the Holy Father Pope Francis has dismissed from the clerical state Pio Cultura Aclon of the Diocese of Borongan,” said the circular signed by Fr. James Abella, Diocese of Borongan Chancellor.

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

The circular did not state the reason why Aclon was expelled from his priestly duties by the Roman Catholic Church, but according to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines news website, the Filipino priest was dismissed “over sexual abuse involving minors.”

Prior to his suspension, Aclon had served the minor seminary of the Diocese of Borongan.

Aclon, in a Facebook post, demanded proof from the diocese that he was indeed dismissed by the Pope.

“I give you 10 days to provide us the letter…I repeat send the letter of Pope Francis to me. Matters like this, are communicated to the concerned individual and not in the social media platform. The social media platform is never part of the procedural process on matters like this. The Bishop of Borongan should explain regarding this matter because he violated again not only my canonical right but also my civil right!” Aclon wrote in the post where he attached the notice signed by Abella.