SINGAPORE — The Roman Catholic Church of Singapore said it is working with the Religious Order to investigate the background of a member who was jailed for five years last week for committing unlawful sexual acts with two teenage boys.
In a statement issued on Wednesday (11 May) to acknowledge the concerns of the Catholic faithful, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore noted the case occurred between 2005 and 2007 and 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”.
Details about the Singaporean man and his victims cannot be disclosed due to a court-imposed gag order, which also covers the man's designation and appointment and the address of the incident location.
The statement said the Religious Orders and boards of Catholic schools have been reminded to report to the Archbishop once they are aware of incidents involving alleged offences against minors or vulnerable persons.
“As the Church carries out its work to ensure greater transparency and strengthen measures 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 so that we are able to provide the truth that all are seeking and ensure greater accountability and the better protection of our young.”
The man had pleaded guilty to one charge of voluntarily having carnal intercourse against the order of nature and one charge under the Children and Young Persons Act. Two other charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.
In a previous statement after the man's sentencing, Archbishop of Singapore William Goh expressed his "sadness and regret" on the case.
"Like many of you, I am dismayed, shocked, and ashamed. I humbly apologise on behalf of the Church. My heartfelt sympathy to those who have suffered on account of this crime. I pray that they will find healing and closure, and we journey with them as a Church through this pain. May justice be rendered accordingly."
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