Archbishop Byrnes a “gift” to Guam, but still unfinished business


After recently meeting Archbishop Michael Byrnes Doris Concepcion believes him to be a “gift” to Guam.

But that has not stopped her joining the weekly picket outside the cathedral in Hagåtña  which is calling for the defrocking of the former Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

Concepcion is the mother of a now deceased former altar boy who was allegedly raped by Apuron in the 1970s.

She said she’s glad Byrnes acknowledges that abuses by priests happened, and the church has been doing all it can to address those, including creating a Hope and Healing nonprofit to counsel victims.

Concepcion now lives in Arizona, but is visiting Guam and has made it a point of joining a picket in front of the Catholic Church in Hagåtña when she can.

She also testified before a Vatican tribunal for Apuron’s canonical trial.

“Everyone’s saying a decision will be out by June, I don’t know for sure but I hope it’s going to be soon. The Vatican has more than enough evidence.”

The first picket calling for Apuron’s defrocking was held on June 12 last year. The picket has continued every Sunday since then.

“Now that all evidence is in Rome, we want to see Apuron defrocked so that we can have healing in the church and healing also for victims of Apuron and other priests,” Laity Forward Movement President Lou Klitzkie said.

David Sablan, Concerned Catholics of Guam president, said the group hopes the pope and the Vatican, as the centre of moral authority for the Catholic Church, will not allow Apuron to remain an archbishop or continue being a priest.

“We must be patient as we methodically clean up our church of pedophile priests, so we can begin the healing process and restore trust and confidence in our new Archbishop and the good priests of our Archdiocese. We will not ever give up on our church and faith in God,” he added.


News category: Asia Pacific.

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