Guam -- Canon lawyers say Vatican verdict against Guam archbishop probably not for sexual abuse: survivors respond
For immediate release Thursday, April 5, 2018
Statement by Tim Lennon, Volunteer President of SNAP’s Board of Directors (415-312-5820 tlennon@SNAPnetwork.org)
Last month a Vatican tribunal found Archbishop Anthony Apuron of Guam "guilty of certain of the accusations" against him. This decision was hailed by some as the first time the Catholic Church had disciplined a bishop alleged to have sexually abused minors. The tribunal removed Apuron from his position and prohibited him from living on Guam. However, this week several canon lawyers have come forward to say that the verdict is unlikely to have been for sexual abuse, because Apuron was not defrocked.
As survivors, we here at SNAP were disappointed, but not surprised, that so little information about the verdict was released and that the sentence was so lenient. The opinions of the canon lawyers only confirms our belief that the Catholic Church continues to place a higher value on its clergy then on the young lives entrusted to their care.
We call for a full disclosure of the allegations for which Apuron was found to be guilty. We further urge every Church official to turn over the contents of their secret files to local law enforcement for investigation and possible prosecution.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 supporters. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
SNAP will be Representing Clergy Abuse Survivors in Rome!
We are taking the fight to Rome and are standing up for all survivors on a world stage! From February 19-25, Board President Tim Lennon, Seattle Leader Mary Dispenza, Los Angeles Leader Esther Hatfield Miller and Austin Leader Carol Midboe will be traveling to Rome for Pope Francis' Papal Abuse Summit.
If you are a member of the media and looking to get in touch with these survivors while in Rome, click here for our media advisory and contact information. If you are interested in connecting with a survivor in the US from your area of coverage, please contact one of the SNAP leaders in the US listed below:
- East Coast/DC: Becky Ianni (SNAPvirginia@cox.net, 703-801-6044)
- Midwest/Chicago: Zach Hiner (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
- Midwest/St. Louis: David Clohessy (email@example.com, 314314-566-9790)
- West Coast / San Francisco: Melanie Sakoda (firstname.lastname@example.org, 925-708-6175)
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