- Feb 21, 2020
In an investiture ceremony Jan. 19, Tanzanian Archbishop Novatus Rugambwa, apostolic delegate to the countries of the Pacific Ocean, conferred the pallium on Archbishop Michael J. Byrnes of Agana.
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.
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.
The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has rejected an appeal by the now-former Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron of Agana, Guam, upholding its judgment of finding him guilty of abuse against minors.