Sunday, April 2, 2023


By Tim Rohr

Carinal Raymond Burke - the Vatican's man who led the Guam investigation

In "Who will be the next bishop of Guam?" as posted on Kandit News, Kandit states:

“Mr. Byrnes replaced disgraced former bishop Anthony Apuron in 2016, after Apuron fled from the flood of sex abuse allegations against him and the archdiocese he led for decades.”

I intended to leave a short comment on the Kandit story but it grew too long, so I'm sharing my "comment" here:


(In a comment on Kandit) Chuck has already pointed out that Archbishop Byrnes is not “Mr.” However, I’m sure the author intended no disrespect. It’s tough to know what to title the ordained depending on what is going on with them and their positions. So, yes, Archbishop Byrnes is now “Archbishop Emeritus Byrnes.” (Maybe another note on this in another comment.)

Another small correction for Kandit would be to refer to "Apuron" as “former Archbishop Anthony Apuron.” For the record, since he was not laicized, he would now be known as "Bishop Anthony Apuron." 

There is no difference in rank between a Bishop and an Archbishop. The title has to do with the size of the diocese and whether or not it qualifies as an archdiocese. 

Guam, in 1984, became an archdiocese after it left the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, where the then-Diocese of Agana was a “suffragan” diocese of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, and whereupon "Agana" joined “CEPAC” aka, the Episcopal Conference of Oceania. 

Upon joining CEPAC, the dioceses of Chalan Kanoa (Saipan) and the Caroline-Marshall Islands became suffragan dioceses of Agana, making Agana an archdiocese, and then-Bishop Flores, Archbishop Flores. 

Some have questioned Flores' reasoning to choose this new status - or at least accept the decision of whoever decided to do this. 


Guam, other than geography, for centuries, had nothing in common with the rest of Oceania. Guam was basically, for better or worse, and for centuries, a Spanish colony through and through before it became, just as through and through, American.

But since Vatican II, something called "inculturation" was all the rage. And it was believed that Catholicism would be ever more invigorated if Catholics were "inculturated," i.e. better situated in their cultural contexts and appointed bishops from "one of their own." 

Well, first of all, and as already mentioned, other than geography, Guam had nothing in common with the rest of Oceania. Everything "Catholic" about Guam was thoroughly European for nearly 400 years, and since 1899, thoroughly American civilly and socially. 

So where do we go when nothing makes sense and everything is misaligned? 

Follow the money.

This is just speculation, but Agana's separating from the Archdiocese of San Francisco and joining the "outpost" conference of CEPAC (Oceania), made Agana a "missionary" diocese, placing it under the purview of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and more importantly, qualifying Agana for financial help as a "missionary" diocese...even though Agana, at least by 1984, was nearly 100% Catholic and had been so for most of the previous four centuries. 

After 1984, and its reclassification as being a part of "missionary territory," the now Archdiocese of Agana ("AOA") began cashing in on millions of dollars in grants from the Catholic Extension Society, whose mission was to assist true missionary and poverty stricken dioceses like those found in Native American territories. 

Functionally, AOA stole from the "Indians" so Apuron's staff could nicely pay themselves while the truly needy - "Indians" living in squalor on the Dakota plains - waited for crumbs. This was a scandal all to its own that never made the mainstream. But more can be found here.

Meanwhile, the point I really wanted to make in all this was relative to Kandit's stating:

"...Apuron fled from the flood of sex abuse allegations against him..."

The fact is that Apuron FLED after ONLY ONE sex abuse allegation...which makes Apuron's "fleeing" a far more interesting story than if there was a "flood." The flood would come much later - and only after the law lifting the civil statute of limitations on sex abuse of minors was enacted in September 2016. 

The fact that Apuron fled Guam after ONLY ONE allegation - and more importantly - WHERE he fled TO - tells us all we need to know. 

This has been set forth several times on this blog. But for the purposes of substantiating the facts in this post, we shall set forth these facts again.

  • Apuron's first public accuser was Roy Quintanilla. Roy publicly accused Apuron of sexually molesting him when he was a young altar boy on May 17, 2016 on the street outside the PDN building. 
  • That night, Apuron and his handlers let loose several video denials but it appears Apuron either fled to Rome that night or soon thereafter. We know this because a Vatican photographer took several pictures of Apuron crashing a papal receiving line in St. Peter's Square on May 26, 2016. All of this is detailed and linked in a recent post here.
  • Apuron's next accuser would be Walter Denton. Walter came forward publicly on June 6, 2016 to make his horrific accusations of Apuron's rape and molestation of him as a 12-year old altar boy, the details of which were also set forth in this recent post

So to repeat the timeline. And this is CRITICAL:

  • Roy Q came forward on May 17, 2016. 
  • Apuron was seen in Rome on May 26, 2016. 
  • Apuron's next accuser, Walter D came forward on June 6, 2016.

There was ONLY ONE accusation that sent Apuron fleeing to Rome and begging the pope's protection. 


Fortunately, despite enormous pressure from their civil lawyers to NOT speak with the Vatican investigators, namely Cardinal Raymond Burke; at least Walter Denton, and maybe other initial accusers, threw off their civil shackles and forced the truth into the Vatican's face. (Maybe more on this later.)

And we can thank these brave few for ridding us of Apuron. 

Otherwise, the civil side would have gone on for years - as it has - and Apuron would still be here. But thanks to Walter and maybe a few others, the Pope got the truth shoved in his face and Apuron is gone. 

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