HAGATNA, Guam — A Vatican administrator appointed to temporarily oversee the Catholic church in Guam has arrived on the island while an investigation is underway into allegations that its archbishop sexually assaulted young boys.
Pope Francis named Archbishop Savio Tai Fai Hon on Monday to take over the Agana archdiocese and he is expected to remain in Guam pending the outcome of the investigation.
Church Pastor Monsignor Brigido Arroyo said Hon will lead a prayer meeting Thursday afternoon at Saint Anthony and Saint Victor Church in Tamuning, The Pacific Daily News reported.
“It is open to everyone — priests, deacons, religious leaders, lay people. It is a prayer meeting,” Arroyo said.
A separate prayer vigil is also scheduled for Thursday at the old rectory of Agat Catholic church, where alleged sexual abuses by Archbishop Anthony Apuron took place in the 1970s.
Apuron has denied allegations that he sexually abused an altar boy and a now-deceased son of an Arizona woman decades ago. Before his demotion Tuesday, he issued a decree declaring an association of Catholics who have been critical of his leadership a “prohibitive society.”
The decree encourages people to refrain from associating with the Concerned Catholics of Guam.
The group’s vice president, David Sablan, said Apuron should be removed from his post.
“In the church history, most of the time when there’s an appointment of an administrator ‘sede plena,’ the archbishop is eventually removed. We hope that’s what’s going to happen here,” Sablan said.