On June 19th 2013, the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith based in the Vatican has recognized the Lebanese Father Mansour Labaky guilty of sexual abuse against three minors. This followed years of investigations and appeals after 17 lawsuits were raised against Father Labaky, which sentenced him to a life of prayer and penance in the Psychiatric Hospital of the Cross in Beqnnaya, Lebanon. He was also prohibited from celebrating any religious sacraments in public, interaction with believers, or leading any spiritual direction.
Months after the verdict issued by the Vatican that shook the Lebanese; speculations kept emerging about the culpability or the innocence of Mansour Labaky in regards to sexual molestations on minors under his care.
In Lebanon, people were divided between believers who reacted in total denial of these accusations while shouting for a conspiracy, and others who felt it was time for the Catholic Church to take action and relief such burden that is “annoying” the Vatican since the 1960’s.
“Turn over files, turn in abusers, and stop the cover up!”
The Vatican was aware of these sexual abuse cases on kids that occurred all over the globe (Brazil, USA, Venezuela, France, Germany, etc…) especially under the reign of Paul VI and John Paul II covered up these abuses, denied them in the media and left the offenders free from any accountability.
The announcement of this scandal couldn’t pass smoothly in Lebanon. Some saw it as a conspiracy against the Christians of Lebanon, to push them out of the region with the Syrian war in order to install a Sunni-Wahabi state; others saw it as a way to intimidate Cardinal Rahi’s political position, and many other paranoid scenarios.
Soon after, the Maronite Patriarchate circulated a note to all Lebanese media to avoid discussing the subject, another act that proves the culpability of Mansour Labaky.
Why would the Church retain the media from defending him in case he was wrongfully accused?
The fact that the lawsuits were filed in France and not in Lebanon kept this scandal propagation more in the dark. Previous cases of sexual abuse on minors occurred in Lebanon, and the most recent one happened in 2012 when a schoolteacher by the name of Pierre S. was convicted for molesting, raping and taking nude photos of schoolgirls. But again no compassion or mercy was shown to his regards.
In the case of Mansour Labaky, it created a dilemma among believers and admirers. His philanthropic image confused so many into doubting these accusations; since the years of the Lebanese war and he helped orphans, established charities and talked in the name of God.
Sometimes, a religious man (whatever his religion) takes advantage of his divine status to commit adultery, pedophilia, or even corruption thinking he can give the impression of a non-faulty person vis-à-vis the people.
Mansour Labaki (the title Father or Monseigneur is no longer compelling) is a normal person now; he is confined to a life of prayer away from the media and believers. His non-reaction and isolation is for the benefit of the Church to sort out his issue secretly. Mansour Labaky is one example of many other religious abusers around the world; by taking action the Vatican is removing all the rotten elements from the core body of the Church while sending a clear message to every “representative” of God on earth.
For further information about the sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, watch this documentary (Link)