Monday, March 19, 2018


Quotes from Attorney Jackie Terlaje, Apuron's civil attorney, taken from the KUAM special "Vatican Verdict Part 2". [My comments in red.]

"First of all, I want to emphasize that Archbishop Anthony was acquitted of the majority of charges against him. I think this is an important fact that has been underplayed by many of the media outlets that are out there."

[First of all, why is Apuron's civil attorney "practicing law" by speaking for a person who is represented by other lawyers in a jurisdiction (the Vatican) that she is not authorized to practice in? Second, how does she know that Apuron has been "acquitted of the majority of charges" against him, other than what Apuron told her? Third, regardless of the number of the charges he was accused of, Apuron was indeed found guilty - after a year long trial, and by papal-appointed tribunal of his peers - of at least some charges which were serious enough to remove him from office and banish him for life from residing ever again in his home diocese.]

"There is an appellate process in place, and he has already appealed the finding of guilt."

[As an attorney, Terlaje should know that while Apuron may have requested an appeal, there is no appeal until the Vatican publishes a notice that there is one. And it has not.]

"I was a bit disheartened and disturbed by Coadjutor (Michael) Byrnes' statement. To publicly condemn Archbishop Anthony without having the full information, for me, it's an unjust condemnation of him. We don't know today which of the accusations Archbishop Anthony was found guilty of."

[First, Byrnes is no longer "Coadjutor." He is Archbishop of Agana, which is how he signed his press release of March 17. In the same press release, Archbishop Byrnes addressed Apuron as "Bishop Apuron," NOT "Archbishop Apuron," which denotes Apuron's removal from office.]

"I don't even know what the grounds of appeal are. I'm not a canon lawyer, so I can't even tell you what Archbishop Anthony has the ability to appeal on. His canon lawyers are the ones handling that entire process, and this is the nature of the Vatican process as well - that we don't have information."

[This is what Terlaje should have said at the outset and cut if off at that: 1) "I'm not a canon lawyer;" 2) "I can't tell you (comment);" 3) "we" (I) don't have information." Anything beyond this could be construed as an unauthorized practice of law.]

"Archbishop Anthony has been consistently praying for the people of Guam. He has been consistently asserting his innocence. And he has been praying that this suffering, this problem, this hurt that we have on this island is healed."

[There's only one problem. Apuron RAN.]

"The reality of the that this particular verdict doesn't necessarily have a very big impact on the civil case."

[That's not what Terlaje herself said on June 13, 2017: "Terlaje told the judge the outcome of the canonical trial would impact the direction of the civil cases."]

[But there should be some sympathy for Terlaje. After all, she is a lawyer, and a lawyer's first duty is to his or her client. It's a tough job. Sometimes they have to defend the indefensible. She's just doing her job.]