"Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops, like bishops, and your religious act like religious." - Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, 1972
In 2011, the Vatican requested a copy of the Sex Abuse Policy for the Archdiocese of Agana. A copy of the policy was received by the Vatican in November of 2011.
It was first reviewed by the CONGREGATION FOR THE EVANGELIZATION OF PEOPLES and then forwarded to the CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH.
The CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH (CDF) is the highest ranking Congregation in the Roman Curia. Thus it is of EXTREME significance that the CDF personally addressed Archbishop Apuron regarding the deficiencies in the Sex Abuse Policy for the Archdiocese of Agana.
In a letter addressed to Apuron dated 12 February 2013, the Secretary for the Sacred Congregation identified SIX issues with the Apuron's sex abuse policy which required revision.
Following is a summary of these six points, Apuron's response, and my commentary:
CDF 1: The document (the AOA sex abuse policy) should annunciate more clearly the fundamental principles of the protection of children and integrity of ministry. It should clearly state that the bishops are committed to transparency, accountability and cooperation with the state authorities. Moreover the Church must be an example for best practice.
APURON'S RESPONSE 1: Nothing!
My comments: Transparency? None. Cooperation with the government? None. Example of "best practice?" Hide Wadeson. Hide Louie. Threaten to sue John Toves. In fact, despite this instruction from Rome, Apuron not only made ZERO changes to his policy, he OPPOSED the same instruction from the bishops conference to which our diocese belongs (CEPAC), which urged its members to revise their policies in 2013. As you can see here, the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa (Saipan) obeyed, updating its policy in 2014. Not so Apuron. No one tells Apuron what to do.
The note says, the U.S. Cardinals met "this week" with Pope John Paul II. John Paul II has been dead since 2005. One might think that this is just an old post that was left on the website. However, it is dated 24 APR 2014 - NINE YEARS after John Paul's death.
There is good reason Apuron does NOT want the policy amended - as per the Vatican's instruction - to "clearly state that the bishops are committed to transparency, accountability and cooperation with the state authorities."
Let us continue.
CDF 2: The CDF required Apuron to incorporate the moto proprioSacramentorum sanctitatis tutela(date 30 April 2001 and the amendments made to the same moto proprio on 21 May 2010. The Dicastery has competence in matters of sexual abuse of minors and other graviora delicta, as indicated in the moto proprio. Therefore it is required that all accusations of sexual abuse of a minor containing at least a semblance of truth be forward to the Congregation along with the acts of the preliminary investigation, which would include the response of the accused. It is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which will decide how the case is to proceed. Canonical procedures must follow the directives of the Holy See.
APURON'S RESPONSE 2: Nothing!
My comments: Unlike #1 which states the policy “should”, #2 is clear that it “is” to incorporate, which makes it mandatory to follow Rome. This is why the Archdiocese instituted the policy in 2002, after the initial document was issued. However, no amendments were made by Apuron when the moto propio was amended in 2010.
The document lays out how to deal with grave delicts such as sex abuse. However, Archbishop Apuron did not follow the requirement to modify the policy and no modification was ever published. Nor was there any discussion among the clergy or among those involved in these cases about any change in 2010 as Rome required.
Also, as per Rome's instruction that "all accusations of sexual abuse of a minor containing at least a semblance of truth be forward to the Congregation": Is this what you did in the Cunnilingus Louie case, Archbishop? Did you forward the case to Rome "along with the acts of the preliminary investigation..." as Rome required you to do? How about the accusations from Toves? You didn't even bother to see if they had some "semblance of truth." Instead you sent out Deacon "For Sure For Sure" to proclaim your innocence.
Why didn't you proclaim your own innocence?
You still haven't, have you!
TICK TICK TICK TICK...
Rome, I know you are reading. The girl in the Fr. Luis Camacho case was a legal minor. Demand that Apuron send you a copy of the police report. He can get it because he is Fr. Luis' legal employer. And while you're at it, demand that he send you a copy of the investigation that he told us all he would do. Good luck. I'd like to add another count up for that but I'm running out of space on the sidebar of this blog.
Let's review Point 2: This paragraph mandates the reporting to Rome of credible accusations of sexual abuse of minors. Note that there is no language that requires criminal activity, nor any delay in reporting to Rome because of civil investigations. While Apuron may claim there was no crime or arrest for sex abuse, the Fr Luis incident - as the police report will show - is a clear act of sex abuse of a minor according to our own policy and according to Rome. What did Apuron do other than to send Cunnilingus Louie on an extended life-long vacation?
CDF 3: Your Excellency is to note that article 6 of the same moto proprio includes as graviora delicta sexual abuse by a cleric of one who is over the age of eighteen but habitually lack the use of reason and cases dealing with the acquisition, possession or distribution by a cleric of pornographic images of minors under the age of fourteen.
APURON'S RESPONSE 3: Nothing!
My comments: While this point deals with acts against an incompetent adult and the distribution of pornographic images of minors and is not directly related to any known issue, it is an item which should be stated in the policy. But it is not there! Also article 6 of the moto propio states that a minor is a person under 18. It makes no mention of an exclusion for mutual consent at age 16 or 17 or other as was the girl in the Fr. Luis case.
CDF 4: Specific reference should be made to can. 1722 CIC and article 19 of the above-mentioned moto proprio, which allow as a precautionary measure a cleric to be removed from ministry and other offices until the completion of a penal process.
APURON'S RESPONSE 4: Nothing!
My comments: Apuron's policy does NOT make "specific reference" to the specified canon nor article 19 of the moto proprio.
CDF 5:The document should express more clearly the right of a victim to intervene in canonical procedures as an injured party and, therefore, his right to bring a contentious action to repair damages incurred personally from the delict, within the same canonical process (canon 1729 CIC).
APURON'S RESPONSE 5: Nothing!
My comments: It is important to note that in this section Rome is recognizing that bishops will use intimidation to cow accusers. But Rome says NO. Rome's recommendation is in place in order to cause bishops to pause before they react in the their normal fashion: Intimidation. Apuron ignored Rome's instruction to "express more clearly the right of a victim to intervene in canonical procedures" or "bring a contentious action to repair damages." Could it be that Apuron was aware of victims who would do exactly this if they knew they had said rights?
CDF 6: This document should state more clearly that therapy and pastoral care are to be offered to the accused. His re-assignment to ministry or transfer to another diocese is excluded if the cleric poses a risk to minors and to the community. Finally there should be provision for the rehabilitation of the reputation of a falsely accused cleric.
APURON'S RESPONSE 6: Nothing!
My comments: Rome says NO to transferring problem clerics to another diocese. Yet, this is exactly what Apuron did with Fr. Luis Camacho. Since Fr. Luis Camacho's actions apparently were serious enough for him to be immediately removed from ministry, there was obviously serious reason NOT to transfer him elsewhere. Many who are aware of Fr. Luis' history say that the incident between the 17 year old girl and Fr. Luis was not an isolated affair, that Fr. Luis had a history of such actions. If Apuron deemed Fr. Luis NOT a threat to another diocese then - since Fr. Luis' infraction was a public matter - Apuron should have publicly declared Fr. Luis fit to serve elsewhere. He did not. He simply sent him "somewhere" (one of Apuron's favorite words along with "whatever).
CDF CLOSING: “This Dicastery would be willing to review future documents containing guidelines or policies…”
My comments: Clearly, revisions were required. Rome saw that there were problems with Guam, and the CDF brought these before Apuron. Some were suggestions, others were requirements. The CDF expected a revised policy draft and got NOTHING. If there is one, none was ever published as the Archdiocesan website still shows the 2002 policy without any amendments.
And when Deacon Steve Martinez voiced these same concerns to Apuron while he was the SARC, Martinez - like the CDF - was not only ignored, he was removed.
It is time to REMOVE Apuron. There is a reason he DID NOT WANT TO MAKE THESE CHANGES.
By the way, look at the date again when the Vatican received Apuron's policy and began to review it: November 2011. This is the same month he deeded away the Yona Property to RMS.
As already mentioned in A FRAUDULENT CONVEYANCE, there is reason to believe that a victim of sexual molestation was about to come forward and the property was hurriedly deeded away in order to "protect" it from the fallout of a potential lawsuit.
Kiko's goons in Rome would have known what the CDF was looking at in Apuron's sex abuse policy and knew that the review had the potential to awaken some sleeping dogs. Had Apuron updated his policy as Rome required and published the update with a public decree - as we see that Saipan did - then there was a grave possibility that those sleeping dogs might not just wake up...but start to BARK!
So best not to do a thing. And that is what he did: NOT A THING.