It’s almost 11 p.m. in Quezon City, Philippines. The Skype line jumps and skips. Regent University School of Psychology & Counseling associate professor, Dr. Gabriel Dy-Liacco, sits in front of his computer, his face reflecting the ethereal, bluish glow from his computer screen.
This is how the remote professor conducts his online classes. Nearly thirteen hours ahead of most of his students in the United States. Dedicated to his craft and his passion for God’s primary mandate: to love His children.
“Scripture even suggests to us adults to be like children in our faith, to be people who have a ‘soft look’ on the world,” said Dy-Liacco. “That’s the only way. There’s no other way.”
Earlier this year, Dy-Liacco received a Papal appointment to the Commission for the Protection of Minors; a group appointed by the Vatican dedicated to safeguard the welfare of minors in the arenas of protection from sex abuse and care for survivors.
The commission was created in March 2014 and comprises a diverse deck of priests, religious lay-persons, survivors of abuse, psychologists and lawyers. Dy-Liacco is the only representative from the Philippines.
“This service to the Church is an honor and a privilege,” said Dy-Liacco. “I could name a lot of people who are more experience or more qualified—it’s the work of the Holy Spirit.”
But this appointment will do more than just enhance Dy-Liacco’s professional reputation. It will allow him to continue making concentrated efforts in intervening in the lives of sexual trauma victims as soon as possible.
His mission became not only to help adolescents and adults obtain a better sense of stability and ways of coping with the aftermath of their personal histories, but also to help perpetrators and those “at risk” for making similar offenses.
“People who commit abuse tend, very woefully, to gravitate into positions that earn the trust of the family and the children,” said Dy-Liacco. “Positions like teachers, clergy, youth volunteers, mentors or even close relatives.”
Dy-Liacco made his first trip to the Vatican February 6-8 to meet with the Commission.
Learn more about Regent University’s School of Psychology & Counseling.