Thursday, December 22, 2016
APURON'S REAL CRIME AND BRINGING DOWN THE WALL OF JERICHO
Posted by Tim
As horrific as were his assaults on young boys who served him at the Altar of God, Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron's real crime was accepting the bishopric of the very diocese in which he had perpetrated those horrors, and, some say, continued to do so.
Actually, the word "accepting" is probably wrong. Those close to the matter know that he "angled" for it, if not blatantly manipulated himself into that position from whence he alone would be the sole arbiter and judge over his horrid history.
This is why he never permitted the archdiocese's sex abuse policy to be amended. Not only did he keep the policy purposely weak to protect himself, he also kept it weak in order to protect those around him who were party to his dirty secrets if not guilty of some themselves.
"The archbishop has purposely kept his sex abuse policies weak in order to protect himself and those around him,” Deacon Steve Martinez told the press on June 1, 2016. For daring to speak the truth, two days later, Apuron had Deacon Martinez served with an episcopal decree forbidding him from further speaking publicly about the issue.
On the same day, the Chancellor for Archdiocese of Agana, Fr. Adrian Cristobal, publicly berated Martinez and accused him of "a calumny of such magnitude that the only avenue...is recourse to the civil and canonical legal process to address these intentional lies." (How serendipitous is it that the "civil and canonical legal process" is now turned on the person Cristobal was defending and may turn soon on Cristobal himself!)
Had it been up to Apuron, this archdiocese never would have had a sex abuse policy. However, as the monstrosities of clergy sex abuse came to light in the late 90's and early 2000's, the pressure was put on all dioceses to do something.
The "something" that our archdiocese did was a placeholder policy which predates the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, published in late 2002 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in order to establish uniform norms to address the crisis.
While the Archdiocese of Agana is not a member of the USCCB, it was critical that the Archdiocese align itself with the USCCB in this matter due to the fact that as a U.S. Territory, Guam falls under the U.S. legal system.
Apuron made this clear in his letter to clergy on April 24, 2002, wherein he anticipated the actions of the USCCB:
Of course, all of this was just a foil. Apuron never intended to update the policy to USCCB norms because it would expose him and his friends. This was evidenced by the fact that he ignored a letter nine years later from the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in November of 2011 to amend his policy according to the Vatican's norms established by Pope John Paul II.
Apuron's refusal to comply with the Vatican's request did not go unnoticed and in February of 2013, he received a strong admonition to amend the diocesan policy from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the highest authority on the matter in the Vatican.
Apuron knew the danger of amending his policy so he didn't. For more than thirty years he had plotted and schemed to retain absolute control over his past and along the way he had allied himself with the money and power of the neocatechumenal dons in order to insure his survival.
Had it not been for brave people like Roy Quintanilla, Doris Concepcion, Walter Denton, Roland Sondia and Deacon Steve Martinez, and the army of the faithful who, motivated by the horrors they were hearing, decided to do the only thing they could do - militate for a law that would hold monsters like Apuron accountable and march until the wall of Jericho came tumbling down - the monster would still be in his chair.
Pacific Daily News File Photo