"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
Guam church willing to hear allegations of sex abuse
14 Apr 2010
By Therese Hart - Guam Reporter
HAGÅTÑA – The Archdiocese of Agana on Tuesday urged any person who has information regarding allegations of sex abuse by a priest to come forward and report their cases to civil authorities.
The archdiocese issued a press statement following media reports about allegations of sexual abuse by priests in the local Catholic churches.
“The Archdiocese of Agana has had an effective safety plan in place to protect all children served in the Archdiocese since April 23 of 2002,” the statement read.
The statement did not address allegations against former priest, Ray Cepeda, or Father Randy Nowak.
“We strongly encourage any person who has information regarding allegations of sexual abuse to come forward and report those allegations to the appropriate civil authorities. In addition, our door is also open to hearing about such allegations,” read the archdiocese’s statement.
The statement added that the archdiocese follows the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Charter on Sexual Abuse as ratified by the Holy See.
Those wishing to express their concerns directly to the archdiocese are encouraged to call Deacon Jeff Barcinas at 671-472-6116, ext. 205, or Deacon Steve Martinez at 671-472-6116, ext. 208.
“Sexual abuse is a matter of the gravest concern, as Our Lord calls us to protect the most innocent and vulnerable among us — our children. We take the protection of children very seriously,” the statement said.
The archdiocese said church officials stand ready to assist victims of abuse “as part of the church’s charity and embrace of those suffering and in need.”
“Regardless of where or how abuse happened, we urge any who are victims of abuse to report this abuse to proper authorities, trusted adults or others so that action can be taken to correct and prevent abuse,” the statement read.
“Together we can make our homes, schools, offices and institutions safer for children.”