Guam--Archbishop tries to discredit victim

For immediate release: Monday, Sept. 14

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790[email protected],[email protected])

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

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected][email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747[email protected]), Joelle Casteix (949 322 7434[email protected])

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