Former Guam Priest Says 'It’s Possible' He Abused Altar Boys, Part of Larger Unfolding Scandal

Guam church still provides funding for priest removed from ministry 31 years ago for sex abuse

By Haidee V Eugenio

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, August 05, 2016) – A former Guam priest who was publicly accused during a Legislature hearing this week as having molested an altar boy in the 1950s said Thursday “it’s possible” he abused altar boys on island and he’s asking for forgiveness from those he may have hurt.

Father Louis Brouillard, now 95, was removed from his position in 1985 while serving in a Minnesota diocese.

Brouillard spoke to Pacific Daily News on Thursday via telephone from his residence in Pine City, Minnesota, about 70 miles north of Minneapolis. Brouillard said he’s sorry about the possible abuses.

Leo Tudela, 73, a former altar boy, told Guam senators on Monday that Brouillard and two other church members sexually abused him around 1956. Tudela, who spoke during a public hearing on a bill that would lift a time limit on filing lawsuits against accused child molesters, is the latest in a growing number of former island altar boys who’ve accused members of the local Catholic church of sexual abuse.

Most of the recent accusations have been directed at Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who was temporarily removed from running the archdiocese’s operations as the Catholic Church investigates the allegations against him.

Brouillard, who said he retired as a priest more than 30 years ago, also said Thursday he’s still receiving checks from the Archdiocese of Agana in Guam.

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, who recently took over operations of the island’s church, said Thursday that Brouillard receives a monthly pension payment from the Archdiocese of Agana.

Hon stated in an email that though he is retired and hasn’t lived in Guam for years, Brouillard “remains incardinated in the Archdiocese,” meaning he falls under the jurisdiction of Guam’s church.

“It is the practice and policy of the Catholic Church to care for its incardinated priests who are retired through pensions funds, even if they reside outside the diocese,” Hon said.

Brouillard said the check he received last month was $550.

The archbishop also said in his efforts to learn more about this situation, he has directed the Archdiocese of Agana to write to the bishop of the Diocese of Duluth in Minnesota, where Father Brouillard now resides.

Brouillard was ordained in Guam in 1948 under the Archdiocese of Agana, and moved to Minnesota in 1981.

In 1985, the Diocese of Duluth in Minnesota removed Brouillard from practicing as a priest after he was credibly accused of sexual abuse.

In 2013, the diocese released a list of former priests who had credible accusations against them. Brouillard was on the list.

The list included priests who served in the Diocese of Duluth, as well as clergy from other dioceses or religious orders who at one time worked or resided in the diocese.

On its website, the mainland-based law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates, which specializes in child sexual abuse cases, states that survivors have taken numerous steps to make public secret documents regarding clergy sexual abuse in the Diocese of Duluth. A lawsuit was filed in June 2013 for this purpose.

The website also describes where Brouillard worked during his time in the diocese.

From July 27, 1981 to July 11, 1984, the website states, Brouillard was temporary administrator at St. Joseph in Beroun. He then served as pastor at St. Mary in Keewatin and as pastor at St. Anne in Kelly Lake until his removal from ministry on Nov. 12, 1985.

The Diocese of Duluth in Minnesota filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2015, the law firm’s website states.

Monthly checks

Deacon Steven Martinez, who served as the Archdiocese of Agana’s chief financial officer from 2006 to early 2012, said on Wednesday that Archbishop Apuron was signing the monthly checks sent to Brouillard.

“I remember preparing monthly checks to Fr. Louis Brouillard for Anthony Apuron's signature,” Martinez said.  “These checks were sent to Brouillard every month to Brouillard's residence in Minnesota.”

Martinez said the checks amounted to $900 a month and was later on reduced to $650 a month.

The former chief financial officer said those checks were for Brouillard’s “monthly stipend” and basically were from the Archdiocese of Agana’s payroll. He said at the time Brouillard left Guam in 1981, the archdiocese still didn’t have a retirement fund.

Martinez said Brouillard was the only priest living off island when the checks were being sent.

David Sablan, president of the Concerned Catholics of Guam, a group that has called for the removal of Apuron as archbishop, asked why the Archdiocese of Agana did not remove Brouillard as a priest or take him off the payroll more than 30 years after he was removed from ministry by the Minnesota diocese.

Sexual abuse

Brouillard, when contacted by Pacific Daily News, was asked about the sexual abuse allegation made by Tudela, and his relationship with the Archdiocese of Agana in Guam.

Tudela, now director of the U.S. Postal Service’s Asia-Pacific Relations in Hawaii, told Guam senators at Monday’s public hearing that as an altar boy in Guam, he was roused from his sleep one night at the Santa Teresita Church rectory in Mangilao when Brouillard started touching and massaging his private part.

Brouillard said he doesn’t remember an altar boy named Leo Tudela.

During the interview with PDN, Brouillard asked the altar boy’s name twice, as well as the spelling of his first and last name.

“Am I sorry for abusing this kid? I don’t know who the kid is but I’m sorry if I in any way hurt him. I didn’t want to do that and see him like that,” Brouillard said.

In the course of the interview, Brouillard was asked several times whether he sexually abused an altar boy or altar boys in Guam.

“It’s possible, yes,” he said.

Later, he said, “Yes I suppose I could, I suppose I did” and “Yes, I guess I can say that.”

Again, he said he didn’t know Leo Tudela and when pressed whether he abused an altar boy in Guam, he said, “I suppose I could say some kids.”

When asked whether he regrets the abuse, he said, “Yes.”

Brouillard said he is hard of hearing. He was born on July 27, 1921. He is 95 years old.

After his ordination in Guam in 1948, Brouillard was assigned to different churches and Catholic schools on island including Saint Jude Thaddeus Catholic School in Sinajana, San Vicente Ferrer in Barrigada, the Santa Teresita Church in Mangilao and St. William Church in Tumon Bay.

Brouillard also was the first pastor at San Isidro Catholic Church of Malojloj in Inarajan when it officially became a parish on July 21, 1973, according to the Archdiocese of Agana’s official newspaper in its July 5, 2013 edition.

There were years when Brouillard was on sick leave, including from 1967 to 1968.

As of press time, PDN was unable to find information about him from 1977 to 1978, before being assigned as associate pastor.

‘Brother Mariano’

Tudela, in his testimony before senators on Monday, said two other members of the Catholic Church in Guam sexually abused him when he was an altar boy in the 1950s.

He said while he was staying at the Capuchin Fathers Monastery in Agana Heights, he was awakened by someone touching and massaging his private part. That person, according to Tudela, introduced himself as “Brother Mariano” and whom he only remembers by that name. The term “brother” refers to a man who is part of a religious community but who’s not ordained.

The Rev. Father Patrick Castro, from the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, told Pacific Daily News on Wednesday that a Brother Mariano Laniyo was with the friary in the 1950s but “he left the Order.”

Castro said they do not have the specific dates when Laniyo left the Order because old records were damaged by a typhoon. But Castro said based on information gathered from another Capuchin priest, Laniyo “died on Saipan.”

Tudela also spoke about an abuse in the 1950s by a Boy Scouts of America scoutmaster who Tudela said was a “high member of the church” and whom he only remembers by his first name, “Ignacio.” Tudela said “Ignacio” asked him and fellow altar boys to stand in a straight line, take their pants down and masturbate at a Yona Beach.

Tudela said all the boys staying at the Santa Teresita Church rectory were required to join the Boy Scouts. The church, he said, sponsored the Boy Scouts program.

Pacific Daily News
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