Wednesday, March 28, 2018


Today, the PDN reported

"Although a Vatican tribunal found former Guam Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron "guilty of certain of the accusations" involving sexual abuse of minors, questions remain about what the decision means for Apuron and the church."


There is NO question about what this means for Apuron or the church.

ONE: Apuron has been removed as Archbishop of Agana and Archbishop Byrnes is now Archbishop of Agana.

TWO: Apuron has been banned for life from his home.

THREE: Not defrocking Apuron keeps him subject to church authority which can exercise its control over Apuron for the rest of his life. And because Apuron remains incardinated in the Archdiocese of Agana, he is now, unless the Vatican says differently, under the authority of Archbishop Byrnes.

Apuron can appeal, which would suspend his sentence, but until the acceptance of appeal is announced either by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith or Archbishop Byrnes, the sentence remains in effect.

The issue also came up on the ChurchMilitant website. I left the following response which has not yet been published:

I am the one who Apuron publicly threatened to sue in May 2016 for my role in helping to make public these accusations against him. The entire drama is catalogued at my blog  
Apuron's punishment was NOT a slap on the wrist. Laicization would have been the slap on the wrist as Apuron is privately wealthy and defrocking would have made Apuron a free man. 
Not defrocking him keeps him under the authority of his new superior, his replacement, Archbishop Byrnes. Additionally, the Vatican's punishment is more severe than any of us could have hoped for: 1) removal from office, and 2) banishment for life from his home.  
Compared to this, defrocking is a get out of jail free card. 
I also left the additional comment:

Also, .... in this matter, it is thanks to the pope that we in Guam can look forward to peace and healing. Apuron is a member of the Neocatechumenal Way whose strongest ally in Rome is Cardinal Filoni, aka "the Red Pope."  
The Tribunal completed its work last October, but probably thanks to Apuron's neocat protectors, the announcement of the sentence was delayed, delayed, delayed. In fact, the last word we had was that the Vatican was not going to release the sentence until after the local civil trial/mediation had been decided in order not to influence the civil decision.
The fact that the sentence was announced much earlier than anticipated is evidence that it was Pope Francis who caused the sentence to be published (since he is the only one who can ultimately sign off on a sentence against a bishop). 
In January and February, Apuron crashed two papal receiving lines in order to get photo ops with Francis to make it look like Francis was supporting him. Our sources confirm that Francis did not like being used in that way and immediately caused the sentence to be published. 
We need to stop being "defrock" happy. Defrocking sets a cleric free. It is much better that he has been retained as a cleric so that he will remain under church authority. Meanwhile, the pope removed Apuron from his office as Archbishop of Agana and banished him for life from ever living on this island again. 
This is one thing we in Guam are deeply grateful to this pope for doing, even though the political pressure to do nothing was immense. Thank you, Pope Francis.