In Malaysia, where Christians are a demographic and cultural minority, the sexual exploitation of children has been an increasing issue in the wider society. In this context, the archbishop wants the Catholic minority to set an example.
"We are actually sending a message across Asia," Poh said. "We [bishops] should be the first to promote and safeguard our children."
Archbishop Poh was among several Catholic bishops to focus their synod intervention on clerical sex abuse prevention at the synod on young people, the faith, and vocational discernment.
Bishop Frank Caggiano of Bridgeport said that the Church must discuss its sexual abuse crisis if it is to gain the trust of young people in his first synod intervention.
"It is a both a crime and a sin that has undermined the confidence and trust that young people must have in the Church's leaders and the Church as an institution, so that they may again trust their priests and bishops to exercise true spiritual fatherhood, serve as adult figures in their lives, and as authentic mentors of faith," said Caggiano.
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Archbishop Peter Comensoli of Melbourne said at a press briefing Oct. 20 that the sexual abuse crisis, the failure of leadership to address abuse appropriately, and the failure of bishops to listen to and believe victims, have been a consistent part of discussions since the opening of the synod.
Clerical sex abuse will likely be present in the final document of the 2018 Synod of Bishops, which the synod fathers will vote upon paragraph by paragraph this Saturday.
Cardinal Gracias, a member of the drafting committee for the synod's final document said that the draft document being discussed by bishops this week, "doesn't put the victim at the center" in its treatment of sexual abuse.