CBCP hails 'wise' DOJ move to let Sister Fox stay for now
MANILA, Philippines – The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) hailed the "wise, very understanding, and kind" decision by the Philippine government to let Australian nun Sister Patricia Fox stay in the country, at least for now.
"We sincerely appreciate the decision of our government authorities to keep the missionary visa of Sister Patricia Fox," said CBCP president Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles in a statement on Tuesday, June 19.
"We consider this a decision that comes across as wise, very understanding, and kind to the 71-year-old Australian nun of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion, who for 28 years worked in the Philippines among the poor and marginalized," he added.
"In particular, we convey our appreciation and gratitude to the officials of the Department of Justice (DOJ) who ordered that until the Bureau of Immigration (BI) rules on the pending deportation case, or until her visa expires, Sister Pat may continue to do her ministry as a missionary in the country," Valles said.
Valles issued this statement after Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Monday, June 18, nullified a BI order that forfeited Fox's missionary visa.
Guevarra also said Fox can continue working as a missionary in the Philippines until the BI reaches "a final resolution of the visa cancellation and/or deportation proceedings" against her.
The BI earlier forfeited Fox's visa supposedly because she joined rallies, violating an Aquino-era BI circular that prohibits foreigners from joining political activities.
Fox confirmed that she has joined rallies and gatherings for farmers, indigenous peoples, and workers fighting for their rights, but she said this was "part and parcel of my apostolate and missionary work." – Rappler.com