How did www.exodians.org come about?
On November of 1987, thirty-six seminarians were expelled from Notre Dame Archdiocesan Seminary in Cotabato City, Philippines. The story behind the seminarians’ expulsion had never been exposed to the public because it was agreed among the seminarians, with the request of Bishop Philip Smith that the incident was an internal problem and therefore must remain behind the seminary walls. For decades, the incident remained a secret.
The Year It Was
Year 2002, the code of silence within the Catholic Church had been cracked. Sexual abuses committed by priests were exposed. Victims upon victims came forward to tell their stories. Their testimonies laid bare the horrific experiences by the hands of priests. Priests who had been proven guilty were imprisoned. Priests who fathered children were stripped from their priestly duties. High-ranking church officials protecting sexual predator priests were forced to resign.With this turn of tide, we could no longer just sit, watch and listen. As witnesses of the Church journey, we too have the responsibilities to tell our stories.
Gone are the days when we were gagged with the belief that only those who are ordained priests and bishops have control of the truth and righteousness. Gone are the days that we applauded and condoned the bishops’ decision to our fate. Gone are the days where priest who was known to had blatantly engaged in sexual activities could continue to enjoy his priestly duties and privileges while others who committed the same act of sexual misconduct are already in prison and stripped from their duties.
The day has come that the voices of the past will come alive. Today, those voices can be heard again through this website. The Exodians website is a reminder that once upon a time there were seminarians from Notre Dame Archdiocesan Seminary who were not afraid to tell the truth and that the consequence of their actions was severely punished – en masse expulsion and had branded their action as “evil possessed”.