Vatican Must Resolve Abuse Case Against Archbishop, Keep Guam In The Loop

Editorial

Pacific Daily News

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (June 14, 2016) – The Vatican needs to resolve the allegations against Archbishop Anthony Apuron as quickly as it is able, and must ensure it’s completely open with this community about information relating to its investigation and findings.

In recent weeks, Apuron has been accused, by three individuals, of sexually assaulting young boys when he was a priest at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel church in Agat in the 1970s. Apuron has said he is innocent and is the victim of a smear campaign. He hasn’t been charged with any crime.

The Vatican recently appointed Archbishop Savio Tai Fai Hon to oversee Guam’s Catholic church while the allegations are investigated. Apuron remains Guam’s archbishop.

The majority of Guam residents are Catholic, and the accusations are troubling to many, given Apuron’s status in the church.

And the archbishop is more than just the top authority in the local church; he’s also a prominent political figure. He has used his religious authority to influence voters and elected officials, to support and oppose a variety of public policies and legislation.

Vice Speaker Benjamin Cruz recently said Apuron instructed senators to gut a measure that would have given victims of childhood sexual abuse, once they were adults, a two-year period to file civil actions against individuals who preyed upon them, and to attach “poison pill” amendments to the measure. In a press release, the Archdiocese of Agana called Cruz’s accusations “outlandish.”

The accusations leveled against Apuron have the potential to rip apart the Catholic church in Guam, to tear the fabric of our island community.

The Vatican can’t afford to drag its feet on this investigation or hope that people will lose interest before it reaches a conclusion. And it mustn’t keep the people of Guam out of the loop on the investigation. It needs to be forthcoming and open with information as it becomes available.

Pacific Daily News
Copyright © 2016 Guam Pacific Daily News. All Rights Reserved

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Comments

Guam maybe dealing with this but Philippines has ongoing serous abuses by priests and even the odd Bishop.

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