Reuel Drilon chastises us in today's PDN. Here is my response:
Thank you for the Catechism lesson. Now let's get to some facts. You question the timing of Mr. Toves' accusation. 30 years later. Actually Mr. Toves was very clear as to his timing. He decided to come forward after seeing the Archbishop's blatant injustices against two of his friends, Msgr. James and Fr. Paul.
Like everyone else who has similar knowledge, Mr. Toves was okay with letting sleeping dogs lie. However, since you are fond of quoting scripture, let us recall the parable of the unjust servant. While the master was willing to forgive the servant’s debt, the servant was ruthless to those who were indebted to him.
Many people on Guam are aware of Apuron’s many personal peccadillos (to put it lightly), that’s the price of a high office in a small place and a place where people have known you all your life. This is probably why Guamanians are so forgiving and rarely confrontational. And until just recently, most were willing to look the other way, even at what others would consider to be horrible things. However, when Apuron took the path of “no mercy”, he opened the door for people like Mr. Toves, and there will be more.
There is also the matter that the victim was severely emotionally wounded by his being sexually molested as a youth. (Whether or not it was Apuron who molested him remains to be proven, but he was in fact molested. That’s on record at the seminary he attended.) He was so severely wounded that it led to a suicide attempt and according to Mr. Toves, he spent many years in therapy and recovery. Like many victims of emotional abuse, his best response to the horror was to start new in life and let the past go. Those around him, including Mr. Toves, were willing to support him in his decision to do this. Pressing charges against his molester could have caused a relapse. So, those close to him, like Mr. Toves, have chosen, until now, to let the past be the past.
Sadly though, this is what molesters, particularly among the clergy (because of their sacred status) count on, and it is now thoroughly documented that this was the status quo for at least 50 years in the Catholic Church in general, at least in the U.S. (though we are now finding out about other countries.)
So your judging Mr. Toves on his “timing” and sentencing him via a paragraph in the Catechism falls terribly short Mr. Drilon. But let’s go on.
You chastise Mr. Toves for “casting stones in a public forum” and accuse him of taking a detour. How do you know that Mr. Toves did not confront Apuron privately? You don’t, do you? You don’t know because he did confront Apuron privately. But as usual, Apuron did not respond.
You say “take it to the church first”. How do you know this hasn’t been done? You don't, do you? You don't because it has. Relatives of the victim have sent letters to Rome. No response.
Sadly, because of bishops like Apuron, it took the Media to break the pedophile ring in the church in the early part of the last decade, a pedophile ring that had gone unabated for 50 years, damaging thousands and costing people like us billions (since the regular parishioner is the one who pays, not the cleric.)
You conclude with another lecture: “Accusations have been made, individuals and families hurt, the laws of God broken, etc.”. So much concern now. Where was your concern for Fr. Paul when Apuron viciously kicked him to the curb? Where was your concern for Mr. Lastimoza’s family when Apuron made him out to be a dangerous child molester, causing his children to be bullied in school and his wife’s health to fail? Where was your concern when Apuron unjustly strafed Msgr. James in the public media and demeaned him in front of the entire FD student body? Where was your concern when he lied to Aaron Quitugua? Where were you when Apuron lied about getting the consent of the College of Consultors and the Presbyteral Council to fire Msgr. James?
And now some small unknown person comes forward and is willing to take a stand in the name of justice and you rise to preside in judgement on him and wish us a “blessed Advent”. Thanks for the reminder of why I don’t send my children to CCD.