Saturday, February 8, 2020

APURON OUT - PART 1


The following is an excerpt from an article entitled "Put Vigano on trial?" which can be read here

The most egregious recent example of justice not being seen to be done is, arguably, the case of Archbishop Anthony Apuron, the disgraced former leader of the Church in the U.S. territory of Guam. In 2017, after years of complaints, a Vatican judicial commission investigated him and tried him. The tribunal, led by Cardinal Raymond Burke, found Apuron guilty of two counts out of the six with which he had been charged. 
We know that Apuron’s nephew claims he suffered sexual abuse at the hands of his uncle. That would have been either in 1989 or 1990, at a family gathering. Apuron was also allegedly involved in several other scandals: real estate deals done in the shade; influence peddling; abuse of office; financial mismanagement and underhandedness – all against a backdrop of “family tensions” on an island where everyone is somehow related to pretty much everyone else. 
Most of the rest is guesswork, though, since the Vatican never published the list of charges, and waited more than a year to announce the verdict. He was acquitted of some charges, found guilty of others. Then, not two months after the announcement of the split verdict, Apuron was on a stage with Pope Francis for a major international gathering at Rome’s Tor Vergata park.

There are a couple things to note:

"after years of complaints" - From what we know, the first public complaint against Apuron involving sex abuse of minors was made by Roy Quintanilla in May 2016. So really only one year of complaints. However, the author may know about other complaints against Apuron that were not public. Indeed, we heard whispers for years and it is quite likely that many of those whispers made their way to the Vatican. Even Walter Denton's graphic complaint to the Vatican about what Apuron did to him when he was a 12 year-old altar boy was initially sent back to him without any action by the Vatican due to a lack of corroboration. In hindsight we can see that the Vatican (specifically the then-nuncio, Archbishop Krebs), did not send Denton's complaint back to Denton because Krebs was trying to dismiss or hide it, but because Krebs knew it to be true and that Krebs knew that the only possibility of helping Denton was for Denton to first help himself by getting someone to corroborate his story. And, as we now know, Denton did. 

"the Vatican never published the list of charges, and waited more than a year to announce the verdict" - Those of us close to this case knew that Apuron had been found guilty long before the verdict was announced (it's called a "sentence" in Vatican-speak). And we also knew that the long delay was due to Apuron's protectors doing everything possible to first keep Apuron from being found guilty, and then to keep the sentence under wraps once he was. The problem for Apuron's protectors was that the Catholic faithful in Guam would not put their signs down, continuing a weekly picket in front of Apuron's cathedral for 54 weeks straight, and even for a time, also protesting the Vatican administrator (Archbishop Hon) who appeared to be part of the conspiracy to cover for Apuron. Eventually the Vatican decided to throw Apuron partially under the bus, announcing Apuron's sentence in an extremely weakened way that appeared to let Apuron off the hook for the most egregious accusations. 

To be continued. 

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