The Diocese of Borongan on Wednesday released more information about a laicized priest by making a Vatican document public that was earlier treated as “confidential”.
The diocese said it released a letter from the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, dismissing Mr. Pio Aclon from the clerical state, “so that truth and justice may prevail”.
The action was taken in response to Aclon’s demand, made through his counsel, for a copy of the Vatican decree that laicized him from the priesthood.
On Sept. 17, the diocese informed the public that Pope Francis had defrocked the priest but did not provide the exact reason for his expulsion.
CBCP News earlier reported that Aclon was expelled from the priestly ministry due to sexual abuse involving minors.
Aclon argued that the publication of the ruling deprived him of due process, contending that the diocese violated not only his canonical rights but also his civil rights by not providing him with the Vatican documents.
However, the Vatican document, dated May 10, 2023, revealed attempts dating back to as early as February 2020 to serve the decree to Aclon, “through his sister, as the cleric was in hiding in Manila and was nowhere to be found”.
The letter noted that proof of the notification was provided by means of a notarized document, which was signed by one of the priest’s sisters.
The Vatican also revealed that Aclon’s sibling later returned the decree, stating that “the cleric had informed her that the letter should go to his lawyers.”
“As a result of these attempts, this Dicastery considers Mr Aclon as having been notified of this decision,” the doctrinal body wrote.