Guam’s Presbyteral Council asks Rome to remove Archbishop Apuron

The Apostolic Administrator of Guam has asked the Holy See to remove Archbishop Apuron as Archbishop of Agãna (Guam), and to appoint a successor.

In a letter entitled “Putting the house in order without burning it down” that was read out in all parishes in the archdiocese Archbishop Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-fai said:

“I want you to know that I am in Rome to urge the Holy See  to remove Archbishop Apuron as Archbishop of Agãna  and to appoint a successor. I am reinforced in my efforts by the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese of Agãna which has presented two letters – the first asking Archbishop Apuron to resign and when that was unsuccessful, the second calling on the Holy See to remove him.”

” I can assure you that the gravely serious allegations against Archbishop Apuron will continue to be dealt with by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, which will hold a canonical trial. His Holiness, Pope Francis, is monitoring the proceedings.”

Hon’s letter also contains an apology to the “survivors sexual abuse everywhere who have suffered so much at the hands of clergy”

He said the church is committed to helping survivors of abuse to heal in body and soul.

“To that end plans are afoot  create a fund to provide survivors with financial compensation for all they have gone through.”

Hon said he has set up a task force to “heighten the awareness of protecting children and continue to strengthen our policies and protocols in the Archdiocese to ensure that we do not harbor those who abuse children and to make certain that abusers are brought to account.”

The letter concludes with a warning that the recently enacted law change allowing lawsuits to be brought against the Church based on “acts alleged to have occurred decades ago” could expose the Archdiocese to unlimited financial liability and possible bankruptcy.

“Bankruptcy will mean the forced sale of Church properties that currently house our schools and social services, and that will have a devastating effect on education and charitable work. In other states where similar laws were enacted, the results have been school closures and the cessation of vital services

“I encourage everyone to listen to those messages and to speak together about them so that the Governor is fully informed when he considers whether to sign the Bill into law,” said Hon.

David Sablan, president of the Concerned Catholics of Guam, said that asking the pope to remove Apuron is welcome news, but asking the governor not to sign Bill 326 is “a little too late” and is “an insult to the intelligence of the people of Guam.”

Catholics make up about 80 percent of Guam’s population.

Additional reading

News category: Asia Pacific.

Tags: , ,