Guam--Archbishop tries to discredit victim
For immediate release: Monday, Sept. 14
A once devout Guam Catholic insider says that an archbishop urged him to try to discredit an abuse victim. The revelation echoes similar and fresh controversies in New York and Chile in which bishops also “trash” abuse victims.
In a new post, prominent Guam blogger Tim Rohr reports that in 2010, he “was called to the chancery by (Archbishop Anthony Apuron's) legal counsel,” met with “several important people,” and “was given a letter by the legal counsel and asked to take it to the media.” It was “intended to discredit (SNAP leader Joelle) Casteix and get her to go away.”
He refused and reportedly asked the group “What do we have to hide” about predator priests? Later, Rorh began siding with Casteix, other victims and concerned Catholics. He has since challenged and criticized the archbishop and his staff about clergy sex crimes and cover ups on the island.
Casteix, a volunteer and a mother, is the long-time western regional director of SNAP.
This is the third time in a week a Catholic prelate attacked or allegedly attacked abuse victims.
---In New York, in a recently-disclosed deposition, Syracuse Bishop Robert Cunningham said that a child sex abuse victim is “culpable.”
---In Chile, recently-disclosed emails show that one of Pope Francis’ top advisors “conspired to block a survivor from joining the Pope's sex abuse advisory board, accusing him of lies,” according to the Christian Today. Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati and his predecessor Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz were both concerned that more details of abuse and cover up might emerge if victim Juan Carlos Cruz, who was assaulted by Fr. Fernando Karadima, were named to the papal panel.
We hope these revelation will prod others who saw, suspected or suffered sexual violence by church staff, in Guam and elsewhere, to come forward, get help, expose wrongdoers, and protect kids. Specifically, we hope they’ll call police and prosecutors and confide in sources that are independent, not church officials.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, email@example.com, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, firstname.lastname@example.org), Joelle Casteix (949 322 7434, email@example.com)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.