Hon says Archbishop Apuron failed to act on recommendation given in 2015


Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai said Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron had more than a year, from early 2015, to prove to the Vatican he could improve his weak pastoral governance and unify the Catholic Church on Guam.

But he failed to heed the calls, and the subsequent public allegations that Apuron sexually abused Agat altar boys in the 1970s made matters worse for him, Hon said.

Hon said the January 2015 pastoral visit to Guam by himself, Archbishop Martin Krebs and the Rev. Tadeusz Nowak included checking on the November 2014 allegation by California resident John Toves that Apuron sexually abused Toves’ cousin.

Hon said he came up with recommendations to help the Archbishop improve his pastoral governance and unify the church on island.

“Unfortunately, 17 months later when I returned here, very little, almost none, has been done,” Hon said.

Among Hon’s recommendations were:

  • Give time to sit down and talk to his own priests at the Archdiocese of Hagåtña.
  • Involve more people in decision-making for the archdiocese. “I was suggesting, even inviting some sisters or lay people to be there (decision-making body),” said Hon.
  • Set certain goals, such as when the archdiocese was about to mark the 50th year of its foundation as a diocese in 2015 and when Apuron was about to reach the age of 70 also in 2015.
  • Avoid favouritism towards one group. (Apuron is a member of the Neocatechumenal Way, whose practices and beliefs are in conflict with the majority of Catholics on Guam).
  • Ensure constant communication with the Holy See, through Archbishop Martin Krebs, the Vatican’s delegate in the Pacific islands.

Hon said Apuron also didn’t follow multiple instructions by the Holy See as early as 2015 to rescind and annul a deed restriction that gives the Redemptoris Mater Seminary and a theological institute, both controlled by the Neocatechumenal Way, the legal right to use church property indefinitely.



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News category: Asia Pacific.

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