Guam priest accused of historic abuse cleared

A Guam priest who was stripped of his public duties last year, after a decades-old clergy sex abuse allegation resurfaced, has been cleared.

Fr John Wadeson “has been reinstated fully to public ministry”, the Archdiocese of Agana stated.

Fr Wadeson left the Redemptoris Mater Seminary on Guam in July last year, after serving in Agana archdiocese since 2000.

The Los Angeles Archdiocese in the United States named Fr Wadeson and dozens of other priests in its “Report to the People of God: Clergy Sexual Abuse Archdiocese of Los Angeles 1930-2003”.

The report was published in 2004, at which time the allegations against Fr Wadeson were deemed “credible”.

The accuation against Fr Wadeson were reportedly made in the 1990s, about alleged abuse in the 1970s involving two children.

But a re-examination of his case by Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez cleared him.

Last year, at the request of Fr Wadeson, the archdiocese of Los Angeles conducted “a re-examination of the matter”, the Archdiocese of Agana stated, citing its Los Angeles counterpart.

“Having reviewed the documentation presented by Fr Wadeson, and following the 2014 re-examination, the archdiocese has concluded that there is no reason to preclude Fr Wadeson from serving in priestly ministry,” the Archdiocese of Agana stated.

The archdiocese didn’t state whether Fr Wadeson will return to Guam.

The historic accusations against Fr Wadeson were brought to light last year by the Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests.

Commenting on the latest development concerning Fr Wadeson, SNAP director David Clohessy said his organisation had little faith in internal church inquiries in these matters.

Instead, Mr Clohessy said the examinations should be done by independent, experienced and unbiased professionals in law enforcement, “not by self-interested, biased amateurs in church offices”.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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