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Vatican hands down ‘not guilty’ verdict on healing priest Fr. Fernando Suarez

The Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith of the Vatican has exonerated a healing priest from Bukidnon, who was accused of sexual abuse.

The Congregation sent a letter to the Judicial Vicar and Retired Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias that has ruled Fernando M. Suarez of the Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose de Occidental Mindoro of “not guilty” of the accusation against him of committing sexual abuse of minors.

In response, Tobias, through the National Tribunal of Appeals (NOA) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) informed Suarez and other priests and bishops about the ruling from the Vatican through a decree of notification.

“This means that he [Suarez] 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,” the decree read.

The decree of notification was issued on January 6, 2020.

Due to the allegation of committing sexual abuse, Suarez was banned by several bishops from conducting healing masses.

Among the said bishops was Bishop Jose Cabantan, Malaybalay bishop; former archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan, Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz, and the late Bishop Jose Oliveros of the Diocese of Malolos.

To recall, the NOA submitted the case of Suarez to the Vatican for action on May 8, 2019.

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