Saturday, July 1, 2017


Posted by Tim

A new article by Vatican insider, John Allen, about the Cardinal Pell situation contains a reference to our own situation:
Beyond failure to report cases of clerical sexual abuse, bishops have been prosecuted for their own sexual offenses. For instance, Archbishop Anthony Apuron, 70, of Guam, has been accused of molesting at least five altar boys in the 1960s and 70s. He has denied the allegations, has not been charged and refused calls to step down, until he was forced by the Vatican to do so. His trial is ongoing.
Once again we see the difference between Pell and Apuron. Pell asked the pope to vacate his position, Apuron had to be forced by the pope to do the same. And whereas Pell intends to return home to "defend the charges vigorously," Apuron ran away from home while he hides 'neath the skirts of the "trained lawyer." 

On another front, Pope Francis recently laicized an Italian priest. Pope Benedict had already laicized him, but Francis, upon becoming pope, reversed the decision. However, three years later, Francis reversed his own decision. 

A couple of points about this. 

I have already noted that laicization or "defrocking" in Apuron's case would probably be a better deal for Apuron. He's independently wealth, and even if he should lose most of that wealth in the civil suits against him, he'll be taken care of for the rest of his life by his friends, especially the neocats - who will probably ignore the defrocking and continue to invite him to celebrate their already illicit "eucharists." 

Forcing Apuron to resign as Archbishop of Agana and sentencing him to a life of prayer and penance would be the harder sentence in Apuron's case. The Vatican would still be able to keep tabs on him and control his life, which would not be the case if he was laicized. Plus, "prayer and penance?" Apuron? That alone would be hell for him. 

In any event, what we MUST be prepared for is OUR responsibility, not Rome's. If anything, this whole drama has forced at least some of us to grow up and stop looking to outsiders to solve our problems. Nothing has made me angrier than hearing people ask "when is Rome going to do something?" It makes me angry because all of this came about NOT because Rome did anything, but because a few people DID decide to do something and then they did it. 

We CANNOT lose sight of that. A worst case scenario would be Apuron being exonerated and sent back to run the Archdiocese of Agana. Our attitude should be "go ahead...and see what Apuron gets when he gets back here.

Not even the pope gets to decide what is good for you and your family. The pope's only absolute competence - by virtue of his office - is limited to the absolutes of faith and morals. And he loses even that competence should he ever venture to officially depart from what has been handed down from the apostles. 

His Apuron decision is an administrative one, and completely fallible. He does NOT get to decide what is good for you and your family. Our first duty is to the children God has entrusted to us, and we have already seen what happens when we neglect that duty and entrust them to the likes of Apuron. 

That said, I believe the pope will NOT send Apuron back to Guam. Francis knows that the good of souls is at stake and that as chief shepherd, it is his own soul which is at stake if he sends a wolf among the sheep. 

Here is the history of the Apuron situation as found on It is the longest "rap sheet" on any bishop.

Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, O.F.M.Cap.
Agaña archbishop 1986-Present. Member of Neocatechumenal Way, a controversial church movement. Sparked outcry 2011 when he deeded a $40M+ church property in Yona for indefinite use as a Neocatechumenate seminary and theological institute (see pages 77-80 of 9/2016 archdiocesan report).  Dismissed Deacon Steven Martinez from review board 10/24/2014 after Martinez accused him of ignoring church sex abuse policy, by harboring Rev. John Wadeson, who had been accused twice of child sex abuse in the U.S.

Apuron was accused publicly November 2014 of sexually abusing a high school seminarian in the 1980s: review board would not investigate. Met privately (12) with Pope Francis 11/21/2014. Visited by Vatican investigators January 2015. Vatican reportedly was notified August 2015 of Apuron's alleged rape of another boy, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel church in Agat in 1977.

On 5/17/2016, Apuron was accused by a third man of child rape in 1970s, and the archdiocese announced an investigation. In late May 2016, a mother from Arizona said Apuron had abused her son when he too was an altar boy at Mount Carmel in the 1970s; her son died at age 38. 
Apuron was placed on leave by Pope Francis 6/6/2016. The Agana archdiocese was assigned a temporary administrator, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Faisecretary for the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

On 7/1/2016, four victims filed a lawsuit against Apuron for libel and slander. On 7/27/2016, Hon stated that Apuron's alleged abuses had been reported to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Hon also said he had removed from the archdiocesan website all of Apuron's threats against accusers. By August 2016, at least five men had accused Apuron of abusing them as boys. On 8/19/2016, Hon said  Apuron had disobeyed an order by Pope Francis to rescind use of the Yona property by Neocatechumenates. 

On 9/13/2016, a news outlet published an account by a man who says he witnessed child sex abuse by Apuron in 1964, when the man was a 10-year-old altar boy at Our Lady of Peace and Safe Journey Catholic Church in Chalan Pago. He witnessed another altar boy, also age 10, being sexually assaulted by the parish priest and by Apuron, then age 19.

On 9/15/2016, Hon released a letter saying he had asked Pope Francis to remove Apuron. On 9/16/2016, Hon released a report on the controversial Neocatechumenate seminary, the Redemptoris Mater House of Formation. On 9/20/2016, an archdiocesan spokesperson said (12) that the Neocatechumenates in Guam had a powerful ally in Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.  On 9/30/2016, the archdiocese announced that Apuron would be put on canonical trial for his alleged crimes.

On 10/31/2016, the Vatican announced the appointment of Michael Byrnes, auxiliary bishop of Detroit, as coadjutor archbishop "with special faculties" to the Agaña archdiocese. The Vatican has "just formed all the conditions for the trial," Hon told reporters in early November.

On 11/9/2016, the archdiocese regained control of the Yona property, when Byrnes cancelled Apuron's controversial 2011 deeds that had given the property to the Neocatechumenates.

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