Vatican acquits ‘healing’ priest of alleged sexual abuse of minors

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 12) — Controversial "healing priest" Rev Fr. Fernando Suarez has been cleared by the Vatican from accusations of sexual abuse of minors.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith informed Judicial Vicar and Retired Novaliches Bishop Most Rev. Antonio Tobias of the “not guilty” verdict on Suarez in a letter dated December 13, 2019.

“I was instructed to notify the Rev. Fr. Fernando M. Suarez of the Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose de Occidental Mindoro of the Decree of “Not Guilty” of the accusation lodged against him of sexual abuse of minors or delicta contra sextum cum minoribus,” read the decree of notification signed by Tobias.

The decree of notification was issued on January 6.

The case on the alleged sexual abuse of minors was submitted by the National Tribunal of Appeals to Rome on May 8, 2019.

“This means that he has been falsely accused of these crimes and, therefore, nothing now stands in the way for him to exercise his healing ministry, provided it is done properly in coordination with the ecclesiastical authority of every ecclesiastical jurisdiction,” read the notification.

Suarez was known for conducting “healing” masses which also made him known outside the country.

The controversial priest was also barred from four dioceses for several reasons. He was barred from conducting masses at the dioceses of Cubao, Malaybalay, Malolos, and Archdioceses of Lingayen-Dagupan.