Be vigilant in protecting children during pandemic

Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila delivers his homily during Mass for the Feast of the Sto. Niño at Sto. Niño de Pandacan Parish on January 16, 2021. | Photo by Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC

Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila has called on the faithful to be vigilant in protecting children to keep them from all kinds of abuse. This was his message in his mass at the Greenbelt Chapel in Makati City last January 17, 2021, to celebrate the Feast of the Sto. Niño. The Chapel is dedicated to the Child Jesus and is properly called Sto. Nino de Paz Chapel.

“We should all be vigilant to prevent this. Kung talagang tayo ay deboto ng Sto. Niño, dapat makiisa tayo na labanan ang pagsasamantala sa mga bata,” Bishop Pabillo said.

In his homily, the bishop said that aside from praying and hearing Mass, one can express his devotion to the Child Jesus by protecting and respecting children who are very prone to mistreatment and abuse.

“Totoong mapag-alaga tayo sa ating mga anak, sa ating mga pamangkin, sa ating mga apo. Pero baka pabaya tayo sa ibang mga bata. Kaya nga sa ating bansa, maraming mga bata ay biktima ng violence, ng human trafficking, ng sexual abuse, ng cyber sex,” said the Bishop.

Bishop Pabillo also admitted that the sexual abuse of children also occurs in the Church.

“Pati nga sa simbahan nangyayari pa ang pag-aabuso sa mga bata. Kaya malaking eskandalo ang pedopilya sa simbahan. At ito’y lubha nating pinagsisisihan at binabago,” he said.

He called the attention of the faithful to the sad reality that more sexual abuse of children is happening inside the families especially during this time of the pandemic.

“Pero mas malaki ang sexual abuse na nangyayari sa loob ng mga pamilya mismo lalung lalo na ngayong panahon ng pandemya,” he said.

The Apostolic Administrator of Manila also spoke about the limited activities of children due to the community quarantine set by the government, keeping them in their homes. The Bishop then encouraged the people especially the parents to create programs and give extra time that will make the children happy.

“Pero ano naman ang mga programang ibinibigay natin para tulungan silang maging masaya. Tulungan sila ngayong panahon ng pandemya. Hindi sapat na basta na lang sila ikulong sa bahay lalung lalo na kung ang mga bahay at ang karaniwang mga bahay sa atin ay maliliit,” he said.

“Kaya kailangan tayong magbigay ng mga extra time sa mga bata upang sila’y turuan, upang sila’y laruin, upang sila’y kuwentuhan at isama sa ating mga panalangin,” he added. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

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