Kaniva mediawatch July 10, 2020

Pope Francis

Pope Francis has told Catholic bishops around the world they should report cases of clergy sex crimes to police even when not legally bound to do so.

While the Vatican has had rules in place for the past 20 years, some bishops have ignored the rules and continued to protect priests.

His comments come in the same week as Archbishop Peter Ching apologized for sexual abuse of minors in Fiji.

There have been claims that it was common practice to move abusive clergy from new Zealand to the Pacific.

Last year Vice President of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania Charles Drennan said the Pope wanted to ensure bishops learn that protection of minors is of paramount importance.

Bishop Drennan represents bishops from Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, Noumea, Solomon Islands, Guam and the Marshall Islands.

Scammers 

Pacific residents are being warned that online scammers are targeting people in the Pacific who might feel financially vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If people are feeling anxious and spending more time inside, online and on their phones, that’s a perfect opportunity for someone to take advantage of you,” Australian academic Dr Barnet told Radio Australias’ Pacific Beat.

She said it was important to be extra vigilant for online scams during the current health-crisis.

Be cautious, particularly right now. Be very sceptical of any offers you see.”

Cremations

Tongan MP Dr Saia Piukala has proposed cremation as an alternative to burial as climate change and rising seas threaten grave sits on the coast.

Dr Piukala raised the issue after Tonga’s Minister for Lands and Service said the Government was looking for land to relocate the burial sites for the cemeteries close to the coastline.

But the suggestion has stirred debate online, with many divided on the idea because of Tonga’s cultural and religious beliefs.

Drugs

Two people have been charged with possession of illicit drugs.

Police arrested a 51-year-old man from Tokomololo and seized from inside his vehicle 25.9 grams of methamphetamine, TP$16,000  in cash and drug utensils.

The Drug Taskforce also arrested a 28-year-old woman from Mataika and seized 0.59 grams methamphetamine, TP$100 pa’anga cash and drug utensils.

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