- Jan 18, 2020
Catholic Church officials in Guam say they have notified the Vatican of a new sexual abuse allegation against Archbishop Anthony Apuron.
At a press conference announcing the new policies for protecting children, recently-installed Coadjutor Archbishop of Agaña, Michael Byrnes, said, “The reason we felt we needed to develop a new policy, part of it was just the inadequacy of the prior policy … also when we decided to adopt the charter, it meant more than just a simple sexual abuse policy.”
Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes was appointed as Coadjutor Archbishop of Agaña in October 2016, after Archbishop Anthony Apuron, a member of the Neocatechumenal Way, was accused of sexually abusing minors. The new archbishop has often been at odds with the movement ever since.
Massimo Faggioli, a professor of historical theology, said the situation in Guam represented “a perfect storm” of problems that underscores just how divisive movements like the Neocatechumenals can be. The Guam church is coping with a sex scandal, financial problems and grassroots criticism of the Way.
Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes wrote a pastoral letter in an effort to set the record straight regarding the practices of the Neocatechumenal Way in Guam. Byrnes warned of a “growing sense of distress” and called the movement to celebrate Mass at a consecrated altar and consume the Blessed Sacrament immediately.