What is “kadiri”?

Buencamino is a fellow of Action for Economic Reforms.

 

Kadiri” is the word that retired Bishop Teodoro Bacani used to express his disapproval of the same sex marriage ceremony held in Baguio City. The english word for kadiri is disgusting, from the noun disgust, “a feeling of revulsion or profound disapproval aroused by something unpleasant or offensive.”

Okay, so same-sex marriage offends and disgusts the Bishop Bacani. But does he have any moral ascendancy to publicly condemn the behavior of others?

In April 2003, Bishop Bacani’s 33-year old secretary, “Carolyn”, accused him of embracing her from behind and touching what she described as “sensitive parts of her body.”  I assume she meant he grabbed her breasts and probably also her genitals without her consent.

Was that kadiri, Your Grace? If you did it with her consent would it still be kadiri?

I believe it is, either way. Because it’s disgusting for a Catholic priest, more so a bishop, to be involved in a sex scandal. Period.

But Bishop Bacani thought nothing of it. He did not even apologize to the lady he victimized.

Here’s Raissa Robles of the South China Morning Post blogging the bishop’s “apology”:

“Monsignor Bacani initially hotly denied the accusations but later modified his statement saying he was “deeply sorry for the consequences of any inappropriate expression of affection to my secretary.”

But that was not the first time Bacani made sexual advances on his secretary, although his statement would make it appear to be the case. A similar incident happened three years earlier, when he was assigned to Caloocan City. Luckily “Carolyn” accepted his apology and said nothing more of it until he did it again.

Church officials tried to keep the second “Carolyn” incident from becoming public. Bishop Bacani’s deputy badmouthed “Carolyn” calling her “a plain looking girl who wore scanty clothes to get attention.” (If true then I wonder why Bishop Bacani kept her around for five years.) He accused the nun who accompanied Carolyn to the Papal Nuncio of trying to “mislead Church authorities”. The Nuncio promised to take prompt action if the complainant kept quiet about her experience. And other church officials including the bishop’s lay supporters tried to buy “Carolyn’s” silence.

Was the damage control kadiri, Your Grace? A truly remorseful man would have added an apology for what he and his church put the victim through after she registered her complaint. But not a word out of Bishop Bacani on that.

A report by Newsbreak after the victim’s complaint became public revealed that Bishop Bacani’s involvement in sex scandals went all the way back to the 1980s when he was a parish priest in Paco, Manila.

“Archbishop Oscar Cruz, former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), conceded that he had received letters from parishioners denouncing Bacani’s alleged affairs there. Some parishioners even held a rally outside the Paco church to demand Bacani’s ouster. One detailed letter spoke of Bacani’s relationship with “MP,” their out-of-town trysts, and public display of affection that has scandalized those close to the bishop. Another letter spoke of his relationship with a former teacher in Paco. Cruz said he did not act on the letters as these were unsigned. “I don’t think the letter senders were credible.” Church insiders disclosed that while there was no formal inquiry on Bacani, the hierarchy subtly acted on the complaint. In 1996, they transferred him to Caloocan. It was in Caloocan, five years ago, where he hired Carolyn as his secretary.” (So God brought Bishop Bacani and “Carolyn” together, in His mysterious way, as usual.)

Was your behavior in Paco kadiri or not, Your Grace?

Bishop Bacani is also blind when his fellow bishops cross the line. I don’t recall him saying kadiri in public when his fellow bishop, Crisostomo Yalung, impregnated a married woman.

There are many things that Bishop Bacani can do and has done to make this world better. But leading the charge against anything that has to do with behavior not approved by his Church is not one of those. Because it’s kadiri to see a mitered sex-offender riding on a high horse.

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