Archbishop Hon retracts allegations

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, the apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Agãna has retracted the allegedly defamatory statements Archbishop Anthony Apuron and other officials made about people who have accused  Apuron of sex abuse.

These statements form the basis of a lawsuit charging libel and slander currently being served on the archdiocese.

Hon stated: “Let me be clear that in no way do my priest counselors nor I endorse the contents of these statements.”

In a message released on Sunday Hon re-iterated his position. “The Archdiocese should always assume and believe that the intent of those who make allegations of this sort is to bring to light serious claims of abuse.”

“Allow me to quote Pope Francis who met with ‘survivors’ in Philadelphia last September:

‘I am grateful for this opportunity to meet you.

I am blessed by your presence. Thank you for coming here today, … I deeply regret that some bishops failed in their responsibility to protect children.

It is very disturbing to know that in some cases bishops were even abusers. I pledge to you that we will follow the path of truth wherever it may lead. Clergy and bishops will be held accountable when they abuse or fail to protect children.'”

Apuron and other archdiocesan representatives had threatened to sue accusers and others for allegedly spreading malicious and calumnious lies against the archbishop and the Archdiocese of Agãna

At the press conference, Hon reiterated the measures he had undertaken to remove the statements from the archdiocese media outlets and reinforced his position on the gravity of any such claims of sexual misconduct leveled against members of the clergy.

On Friday, July 22, the four plaintiffs in the current suit delivered a copy of an amended suit to the archdiocese.

Hon was named and accused of being equally accountable for defamatory statements made against the plaintiffs in regard to their claims against Apuron and their intentions in coming forward.

Despite the retraction they say they will continue to press the libel and slander lawsuits.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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