AGANA, Guam (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, accompanied by an official from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and three canon lawyers, spent two days in Guam interviewing witnesses and alleged victims in a clerical sexual abuse case against Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron of Agana.
The Archdiocese of Agana, in a Feb. 18 statement, said the cardinal and officials had left the island that morning after hearing testimony Feb. 16-17 “as part of the canonical penal trial” involving accusations against the archbishop.
“They conveyed their appreciation to all individuals whom they interviewed during their work here and encouraged all of Guam’s faithful to remain grounded in Christ,” the archdiocese said.
The Vatican press office had confirmed that Cardinal Burke was named presiding judge in the trial of the archbishop by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which investigates and processes abuse claims against Catholic clergy.
In the Agana archdiocesan statement, Coadjutor Archbishop Michael J. Byrnes, a former auxiliary bishop of Detroit, expressed his satisfaction that the Vatican is advancing its investigation.
“The archdiocese commends all witnesses who have stepped forward to tell their stories. We will continue to redouble our efforts to combat, root out and address sex abuse in the archdiocese,” the statement said, adding, “We pray for a speedy and just result.”
In the meantime, the Archdiocese of Agana said it had completed child protection training at all Catholic schools on the island and the Task Force for the Protection of Minors had begun training staff and volunteers at the parish level.
During a news conference Feb. 10, Archbishop Byrnes had announced that the archdiocese voluntarily adopted the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The charter calls for mandatory training of all adults entrusted with the care of children as well as mandatory audits.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: Be ashamed when tempted to use church for power struggles, pope says
NEXT: Pope, Chilean bishops discuss abuse scandal, evangelization
The church can never judge itself. Judgement must be by civil law enforcement to give fairness to victims. Burk would find the priest blameless if the act occurred in the middle of mass on Sunday morning.
Interviewing witnesses ? Four members of the Clergy in full Priestly garb in a room with the victim who is not allowed to have a lawyer or support person ? Have you ever heard of a ‘Star Chamber’? Some victims refused to submit themselves to the humiliation of a fake interview. card Burke has a reputation for protecting his fellow priests.
I am praying for Archbishop Apuron and that the truth may be revealed.