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.
We at SNAP have heard a lot over the years about how church officials need to listen to abuse survivors. We’ve heard repeatedly about how new consultative bodies like the Vatican commission set up by Pope Francis to advise him about abuse in would amplify survivors’ voices. The talk, which recycles itself over and over with very little action to match it, sounds nice.