Monday, June 23, 2003

In the Philippines, an apostolic administrator has been appointed to temporarily assume the duties of the bishop being investigated for sexual harrassment.

The Vatican has named a temporary administrator of a diocese in the Philippine capital whose well-loved bishop is being investigated for alleged sexual harassment, Church officials announced yesterday.

Bishop Antonio Tobias will take the place of Teodoro Bacani Jr. in Novaliches district as the latter is on vacation in the U.S. to visit his family, while the charges are being looked into by the Pope, according to Antonio Franco, Papal Nuncio to Manila.

``Bishop Tobias will run the diocese for the time being. We are dealing with this problem of the Church. We are all concerned. We hope that there will be a solution that will be good for the person and the community,'' he told reporters in a briefing.

``The diocese will be run by the Apostolic Administrator even when Bishop Bacani returns. The presence of the Apostolic Administrator is meant to facilitate better consideration and fair evaluation of all aspects of the situation, without pressure of any kind from any sector, in an atmosphere of serenity and impartiality.''