Thursday, December 4, 2014

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE SEX ABUSE REVIEW BOARD

Dear Mariles D. Benavente; George Kalingal; Sr. Trinie Pangelinan, RSM; Vince Pereda and Juan Rapadas:

You are the Sex Abuse Review Board Members. The Sex Abuse Response Coordinator, Deacon Larry Claros today stated to the press that you have met, you have looked at the allegations, and that there is no reason to conduct an investigation:

"...the review board has met to look at these allegations and see if there is anything we need to investigate and there is none."


Earlier in the interview Deacon Claros told Mr. Toves in front of the press that his allegations were "under review". However, in the above statement, he states that a decision not to investigate has already been reached, that the Archbishop is innocent, and there is "no investigation". 

Obviously the allegations cannot be "under review" and a decision already made at the same time. We are asking you publicly here: WHICH IS IT?

It is quite clear that Deacon Claros' first job is not the Sex Abuse Response Coordinator (SARC), but to run interference for the Archbishop. We would expect that of him. However, you are all professionals with reputations to protect. 

The people of the Archdiocese of Agana are calling on you to clarify Deacon Claros' contradictory response. 

We hope you will.

Meanwhile, Deacon Claros, if the Archbishop is innocent, then why the dog and pony show? Why is he sending out his little soldiers? Why did he not just come out to the press himself and state simply and clearly: "I am innocent of these allegations." 

That's all he has to say, isn't it?

Link to full story in the Pacific Daily News.

"The Archbishop is not available."  - Fr. Adrian Cristobal
KUAM

KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

"He must step down."  - John Toves

26 comments:

  1. The puzzling comment in the PDN release is Claros stated HE BELIEVES the AAA is innocent for sure, not plain HE IS INNOCENT. Sexual Board, Mariles Benavente is a die hard NCW member.

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  2. There needs to be investigation by off-island board. There is no justice here. As far as justice is concerned, EVERYONE on the current board should be replaced by non-interested parties, preferably from Rome, due to apparent conflict of interest. There are at least three attorneys working for/closely connected to Tony that should know that. No investigation. Really? How sad, Chancery. How sad. Nothing surprises us anymore.

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  3. Deacon Larry claros, like you said, the victim hasn't come forwarded YET. You have a responsibility to the people, the church, the mystical body of Christ, to be unbiased at this point in time. I will keep you in my prayers that you may have the courage to do what is right, despite the obvious conflict of interest.

    Although I do not know any victims myself, I have a bestfriend whose uncles were sexually molested as altar boys way back in the 70's (off island parishes). These priests died without ever going to court as the victims were always unafraid to come forward. Up until today, people actually think these priests are saints, only a few know the truth. Even my mother refuses to believe that Fr.So and So sexually molested my bestfriend's uncles. We have to learn how to stop being naive about these things and be more sensitive to those who are hurting and live up to our christian responsibility.

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    1. And let's not forget victims in schools, all kinds of religions, foster homes, incest in families. God help us all.

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    2. Perhaps the Archdiocese of Guam should devote part of its coffers to a program to combat sexual abuse of children such as VIRTUS instead of lining the pockets of the NCW. Although the cases mentioned on this blog occurred many years ago and need to be dealt with and the guilty removed, if nothing has really changed, there are probably cases going on today unfortunately.

      To teach, volunteer, or be associated in anyway with youth in many US dioceses, one must undergo 3 hrs of initial child sexual abuse awareness training plus monthly online continuing ed.

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  4. It is now plain to see why the Bishop just nominated Deacon Clarosse to this position, for which he is not prepared, except that he will do exactly what the Arch and his handler, Pius the Sam nut, will tell him to so.
    It is a farce of the worse order.
    Despite having been around the block several times, I am always amazed by the willingness of some to lie so blatantly .
    A Straw man:yes, a yes man: yes, a deacon certainly not.....

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  5. Very interesting footage .Body language cristobal disturbing.

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    1. Poor Crippled Cristobal. Pretty smile!

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  6. I suppose that when John Toves announced that he would pay the Archbishop a visit with the media present, the troops began to huddle to make plans.

    AA- okay Adrian my boy, you know what to say.

    AA - Deacon Claros, you the main man, I know you have me covered. Don't forget to tell the Board what to inform the public.

    A.C. And D.C. - AA we got your back!

    What a bunch of Aceeee Dceees

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  7. I would like to report that Deacon Claros is not fit to be handling this case or any case for that matter. I know something you won't admit Deacon!!!

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    1. Mentioned same thing, Jonathan. He can not possibly be capable of this undertaking.

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  8. Perhaps it is time for Gov.Guam to conduct an investigation . Investigation led by BJ Cruz who we trust and respect.

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    1. And who was publicly maligned with great disgust by Pizza Pie! BJ!

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  9. Claos was not a member the archdiocese 30 years ago. very few are left around who are aware of all the information.

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    1. Anonymous (December 4, 2014 at 11:32 PM) the very fact that Deacon Larry Claros was not a member of the Archdiocese 30 years ago actually could have worked in his favor in terms of maintaining impartiality if he did not work hand in hand with the Archbishop.

      As you pointed out "very few are left around who are aware of all the information" which is why it is important for victims who have maintained their silence for decades to come forward as well as to have individuals who can remain impartial conduct the investigation per the Archdiocese of Agana Policies on Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment. As noted in this post, since Deacon Claros' primary focus is to "run interference" for the Archbishop he should recuse himself as the Sexual Abuse Response Coordinator (SARC).

      In the KUAM video as Claros was responding to questions from the reporters it was clear that he was unable to maintain even the most remote semblance of impartiality particularly where John Toves is concerned. After stating his role as the SARC, Claros immediately reacted to a sound made off camera and said, "Pardon me?"
      Toves (off camera): "Nothing. I coughed."
      Claros: "No you didn't."
      Toves: "I was clearing my throat."

      There's a strong possibility that Toves made a comment under his breath — it's hard to tell although I watched the video several times — but the fact that Claros asserts No you didn't when John Toves claims to have coughed indicates that Deacon Larry Claros is very partial and protective toward Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron and should recuse himself as the SARC in this matter.

      As a matter of fact, any member of the Sexual Abuse Response Board who is unable to maintain impartiality for one reason or another should also recuse himself/herself in this matter relating to the Archbishop.

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    2. I just realized I made an error: The video to which I refer in my comment should have been the one on the PDN website, not KUAM's.

      Even PNC featured the verbal exchange between Claros and Toves as seen toward the end of the video available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GycdcfOGpgQ&list=UUU39xc_a7WL-OR-VtHZxOMg

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  10. justice BJ Cruz may need to re introduce laws to re re open the period of time for victims to come forward.

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  11. Is it fair to say that any member of the Sexual Abuse Response Board who is Neo should recuse themselves too? When it comes to the Archbishop I don't think any of them can be impartial. Their allegiance to Kiko, Pius, and the Archbishop is scary!

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  12. I really feel bad for Deacon Larry. I'd never thought that I'd ever see him act and speak the way he did. I guess you can serve two masters after all. I really do feel bad for him.

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  13. I wonder how things would be if Deacon Steve Martinez was still the SARC.

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  14. It’s well known knowledge and an undeniable fact that with the exception of maybe 1 or 2 members of this aa-appointed, aa-approved and aa-manipulated Sexual Abuse Response Board of the diocese, most of these members work for the aa, are neo-brothers and neo-sisters of aa, or are aa-followers/sympathizers. And so here again, the aa continues his predictable conniving ways of insulting the Faithful’s intelligence and by convincing (only himself) that he is capable of succeeding in bamboozling and deceiving the Faithful.

    We all definitely know and we all can very clearly see that this emperor has no cloths (let alone new clothes), of course! Apparently however, this emperor doesn’t mind making a laughing stock of himself!

    Sadly and unfortunately however, the members of this emperor’s joke-of-a-board (by staying on), put their own credibility and integrity on the line and risk damaging or loosing it. They’ve become willing participants and partakers of the emperor’s hilarious and on-going goofy procession: “The Emperor’s New Clothes’ Procession”!

    To members of this puppet board: recuse yourselves, NOW. Save your reputations and keep your integrity and dignity intact.

    To aa: if you really want to fool the Faithful of this diocese, tell us the truth (about yourself).

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    1. I only know one member of the board and he is not an AAA lackey. However, Claros has cast an shadow on all of them. Claros is not even supposed to be part of the decision. He is only the coordinator. Yet, he pronounced a decision in the name of the board. The board needs to speak. I hope someone does.

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  15. All Deacon Claros had to do was to ask the mighty Crystal Ball (Cristobal) to get the answer IMO.

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  16. To really obtain an impartial and fair review of sexual molestation complaints, non of the SAR committee members, particularly the coordinator should be members of the Chancery or employees of the Archbishop in any capacity. When it involves the highest authority in the Church an independent outside panel will be better suited to make an objective and impartial review of this case. In light of all the clergy sexual abuse cases that have occurred in the church is recent years, we cannot disregard or dismiss any potential complaints filed as false allegations, If it turns out to be true, we in the church will pay greatly, and the reputation and credibility of the church will be ruined not to mention all the believers who will be scandalized by our failure to act.

    This is just another reason to ask the chancery leaders, why is this serious allegations against the archbishop is being treated like a circus performance in this joke of a review committee, or do they have the gift of reading hearts and have determined that the abuse never happened at all? It would be prudent to error in the area of too careful, than to outright dismiss the allegation as this review committee has done. IF I was a victim, I would not have any confidence that I can bring any complaints before them to review. They're all in cathoots together... A total insult to any potential victims..

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  17. Urgently needed now is an independent review of this complaint conducted outside of the Archdiocese to close the matter . Review of the entire Archdiocese by an appointed delegation of the Vatican. Failing this than a Gov Guam investigation into the local church administration is required to bring an end to this serious issue in our community. Until a full investigation takes place how can we trust Bishop Apuron? Impossible. Second time in six months major issues of morality raised in the administration.

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    Replies
    1. I agree Anon 4:04 AM and 9:25 PM!

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