Concerned Catholics of Guam had a relatively simple mission when it was formed a few years ago: to assist the Archdiocese of Agana in getting its finances in order and to insure transparency. Little did we know how many problems we would face and the monumental task of finding solutions while fighting an uphill battle with the Apuron administration.
Our priorities shifted when we learned about the most important problem: Helping the victims and survivors of sex abuse by the clergy. Everything else had to go on the back burner for a while so we could devote the time and energy to these people who suffered in silence for years.
Through the heroic efforts of Joseph Santos and his Silent No More petition drive, the Laity Forward Movement hand billing and pickets, the support of CCOG, the work of Senators Frank Blas and Frank Aguon, the legislature and the Governor, a bill became law in record time and paved the way for victims and survivors to seek justice. If not for Divine Providence all of these efforts would have utterly failed.
As we move forward CCOG is continuing to work to help the Archdiocese solve problems. The article in the November 17 2016 issue of the Pacific Daily News is one example. We put together a Seven-Point Plan the Archdiocese can implement to support and help victims and survivors of sex abuse as they go through the process of seeking justice and healing.
This plan includes utilizing the services of the Guam Bar Association, Guam Legal Services Corp., Guam Crime Stoppers, VARO, CPS and Healing Hearts Crisis Center. Our goal is to make sure victims and survivors get the help they need and to make the process easy to navigate.
Another goal is to ensure the Archdiocese follows through with its plans to help victims and survivors through the establishment of foundations and boards. It is necessary to have checks and balances so that the primary mission is fulfilled: Helping victims and survivors achieve justice, healing and closure.
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