As we know, John Toves, a former resident of Agat who served then-Father Apuron as an altar boy in the late 70's and a former seminarian at the minor seminary in Tai in the early 80's, has alleged that Archbishop Apuron (before he was made bishop) sexually molested a person whom Mr. Toves refers to as "a relative of mine" while both he (Toves) and his "relative" were at the seminary in Tai.
So what now?
As Archbishop Apuron has himself demonstrated in his recent removal of Fr. John Wadeson from priestly ministry, the seriousness of the charge is all that is needed to remove a cleric under the Archbishop's own zero-tolerance policy.
The only grounds Archbishop Apuron had for the removal of Wadeson was a forty year old allegation: Wadeson was alleged to have sexually molested two minors while serving at a school in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in the 1970's.
Fr. Wadeson is on record stating that no formal charges were ever brought forward, only an allegation. But Archbishop Apuron DID NOT NEED formal charges in order to remove Wadeson. By his own actions against Wadeson, Apuron demonstrated that all that was needed was the allegation, even if it was more than forty years old.
There is now a similar allegation against Archbishop Apuron. Whether it is true or not remains to be proven. However, again, as per the Archbishop's implementation of his own policy in his actions against Wadeson, no proof or truth or formal charges are needed for the removal of a cleric, including himself.
Thus, Archbishop Apuron, by virtue of his own policy and his own example of its implementation, MUST REMOVE HIMSELF and permit an independent investigation to move forward. (A temporary diocesan administrator will be appointed by Rome during this process.)
Whether he will do this or not IS the matter the MEDIA needs to examine. To not do this is to invite question of Apuron's influence into their news organizations. He has been known to bully them before.
Meanwhile, we will keep watch.
Here is a link to a google search of several stories about the Wadeson incident. Other stories can be referenced on this blog under the label "Fr. John Wadeson".
Here is a P.S.
Personally, I have always believed that the zero-tolerance approach to clergy sex abuse by the entire USCCB, and adapted for our own diocese, is stupid. Zero-tolerance makes someone guilty from the moment an allegation is made. It is extremely unjust and many good priests have been severely damaged by it.
Zero-tolerance was a reactionary move by the U.S. bishops to cover their own behinds. For decades, many of them stood by or slammed the door in the faces of concerned lay people (as happened to my father), when they came to complain. Once they could no longer hide what was happening, they reacted with a zero-tolerance policy that was meant to show how serious they were about addressing the problem.
But for the most part, it was a ruse, an attempt to get the glaring light of truth to shine some place else, an attempt to exonerate themselves and blame it on a few priests who they could throw to the wolves, priests who probably desperately needed help from their bishops to begin with. In the end, as we have seen, many priests have gone to jail, BUT NOT ONE BISHOP.
Archbishop Apuron may or may not have something to hide. If he does have something to hide, then adapting the zero-tolerance policy would have been a way to throw the dogs off the scent.
I have almost 1000 unpublished comments alleging much the same as John Toves. However, as per my policy, if you're going to name someone then you must also name yourself. John was the first person to name himself. However, John did not make the allegation against Apuron here. He made it first on KUAM. We linked to the interview but did not join in the allegation. John's allegation then appeared on PNC.
For our part, we are not banking on proving these allegations. That will be up to Mr. Toves. Well before these allegations of sexual molestation came to light, we had tons of evidence of Archbishop Apuron's consistent willingness to lie, to divide, to slander, and to wage war on Catholicism as we know it.
Our campaign to continue to expose all of this and more continues.