The hunt is on in the Philippines for a Spanish priest who has been accused of molesting minors in his home country.
The priest has been identified as José Maximiano Campos Ruiz, who is facing sex abuse allegations in Spain.
Archbishop Bernardito Auza, papal nuncio to Spain, has sought the help of Filipino bishops for information about Father Ruiz.
He said the priest has gone missing and may have fled to the Philippines.
Archbishop Florentino Lavarias of San Fernando has already alerted his clergy about the wanted priest.
“There are reasons to worry on his presence in our country given the serious accusation against him of abuses of minors,” said the archbishop in a circular on May 26.
He asked his clergy to help inquire on Father Ruiz’s whereabouts and report to his office for any pertinent information.
Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, had vowed a firm response to clergy sex abuses, adding that there will be no cover-ups.
In July 2019, the CBCP agreed to create a new office that will look into cases of clerical abuse and augment the efforts in the diocesan level.
The country’s dioceses have also created a public, accessible and reliable system for reporting sex abuse cases involving priests.
In May last year, Pope Francis’ motu proprio “Vos estis lux mundi” mandated that each diocese and religious congregation must have a system that allows the public to submit reports of sex abuse.