- Dec 9, 2019
Sex abuse victims in Guam are suing the Catholic Church.
For decades in Guam, Archbishop Anthony Apuron oversaw a culture of impunity where abusers went unpunished. Long after it erupted into scandal on the mainland, clergy sexual abuse remained a secret on Guam. On this island where four out of five people are Catholic, the abusers held the power.
The first time Archbishop Michael J. Byrnes of Agana, Guam, celebrated Mass in his cathedral, he had to cross a picket line to do so.
Guam’s Catholic leadership has said parishes and schools should not be sold more than 200 outstanding claims of clerical sexual abuse.
Pope Francis has formally named Monsignor Michael Byrnes as Guam’s archbishop following the definitive sex abuse verdict against his predecessor.
The Vatican’s decision to uphold its conviction of the U.S. territory’s ousted Archbishop Anthony Apuron for sexually abusing minors marks a sorrowful chapter in church history, the current Archbishop of Guam, Michael Byrnes, said.