Religious orders, Catholic schools to report alleged sexual offences against minors and vulnerable people to archbishop immediately
SINGAPORE: The Catholic Church has reminded religious orders and Boards of Catholic schools of their obligation to report to the archbishop immediately once they are aware of alleged sexual offences against minors or those who are vulnerable.
In a statement issued on its website on Wednesday (May 11), the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore added that all Catholic schools are also required to follow the Ministry of Education’s protocols and Singapore laws on reporting incidents involving sexual abuse of minors.
The statement came after it emerged that the sexual offences committed by a prominent figure in the local Catholic community had been uncovered at least 11 years before the archbishop was said to have been informed of the abuse.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore said it is working with the religious order to investigate the background of the case which happened between 2005 and 2007.
It added that it is concurrently taking steps to see how more information about the case can be publicly released in light of the existing gag order.
The Singaporean man, a member of the religious order, was jailed for five years on May 5 for sexual offences against two teenage boys.
The man was accused of having carnal intercourse by performing a sex act on a boy aged between 14 and 15 sometime between April 2007 and December 2007.
He was also accused of performing the same act with another boy aged between 14 and 16 between January 2005 and December 2006.
He had pleaded guilty to one charge of carnal intercourse against the order of nature and one charge of committing an indecent act with a young person.
Two more charges for similar offences were considered for sentencing.
“As the Church carries out its work … to prevent future incidents, we humbly seek the understanding of our Catholic community and members of the public; to give us the time and opportunity to make the necessary investigations and reviews,” said the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore.