Guam Religion

The Guam Religion

The Vatican condemns ex-Guam bishop charged with abuses The Vatican on Friday ordered the suspending Guamese archief not to go back to Pacific Isle after he was sentenced in a sexual assault trial." Vatican did not say what exactly Monsignor Anthony Apuron was sentenced for, and the punishment was much easier than that of high-ranking senior ministers found to harass underage people.

This is an early retired person all over the globe, except in Guam, a secluded US-Pacific region, where almost everyone is Roman Catholic. Apouron is 72 years old, while the Vatican is 75 years old. A Vatican spokesperson refused to give an opinion. "Whilst I am shocked that the court has rejected most of the allegations against me, I have lodged an appeal against the verdict," said an Apuron declaration circulated by his lawyer Jacqueline Terlaje from Guam.

" In 2016 Pope Francis appointed a provisional steward for Guam after Apuron was charged by former ministrants with having abused her intercourse as a minister. Tens of cases have come to light in the meantime in which other preachers on the isle are involved, and the arch-diocese is faced with more than $115 million in civilian trials in which children are alleged to have been used by preacher.

Apouron decisively rejected the allegations and said he was a casualty of a "smear campaign". An explanation by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in cases of sexual assault states that Apuron has been sentenced for some of the allegations made against him. It is not clear, however, whether this occurred after Apuron stated that he had lodged an appeal.

The Vatican in the past, when an older or frail preacher was condemned for sexual abuses of children, he was often dismissed from service and condemned to life-long "penance and prayer". "Younger clergymen who have been condemned for abuses have been expelled, dismissed or are no longer allowed to present themselves as clergy.

However, Francis has interfered in a fistful of cases to reduce the penalties, and several high-ranking Vatican leaders are opposed to the release of sentenced criminals and have long campaigned for milder penalties. His priesthood was not restricted in the case of Apuron. A sickly Apuron welcomed Francis at the Pope's general hearing on 7 February.

Apouron is one of the highest-ranking church men sentenced by a Vatican sexual assault court, and his status as archiepiscopal may have been a factor in his apparently easy judgment. On the assumption that the proof s against him were serious and believable, the Vatican may still not have wanted to take him out of the ecclesiastical state, as was the case in hundred cases of outcast priests, because Apuron would still stay a theologian, Kurt Martens, Associate Prof. of ecclesiastical jurisprudence at the Catholic University of America in Washington, stated.

This means that he could still ordain a priest - ordinances that would be illegal but still in force - a bismic dispute that the Vatican wanted to avert. Guam's Roman Catholics were shaken by the Apuron affair, with week-long demonstrations calling for his removal from office. A former acolyte who blamed Apuron for harassing him said he felt relief at the Vatican's announcements.

"It was the sentence we had hoped for," said Roland Sondia from Guam, where it was already Saturday. "While The Associated Press usually does not name sexual assaults, Sondia has identified herself openly as one of Apuron's prosecutors. Early Saturday afternoons Archbishop Michael Byrnes made a declaration in which he praised the ruling.

"It' a memorial sign on our path to recovery as a church, a nation in God. Apouron' s allegations also concerned serious economic difficulties in the arch-diocese and the acquisition by Apouron of precious properties for a bishop' s seminar, which he actually handed over to a disputed Roman Catholics group.

An amateur group campaigning for the distance of Apuron, Concerned Catholics of Guam, urged an enquiry into the archdiocese seminar that Apuron opened in 1999 and which, thanks to an anonymised contribution of 2 million dollars, attracted to an 18-hectare site. The Vatican supported research found that the Vatican had given full command of the estate to the Neocatechumenical Way stewards without the Vatican's consent.

When the Carmelite Order of the Order of the Order unveiled its $2 million contribution, the dispute reached a climax, saying that the funds had been earmarked for an archiepiscopal seminar to educate bishops, not for a neo-catechumenal seminar to educate them. At a notable press briefing in 2016 to condemn the Carmelite Mother Superior Dawn Marie said that her small fellowship of monks had abandoned the Isle after 50 years of being present because of the "toxic environment" caused by the war.

Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica's Guam Parish in which Apuron is pastor, Melinda Burke, said she was concerned about Apouron's condition when she learned that he was found to have been wrong. "Archiepiscopal Apuron has a very nice, Christ-like side. "Mendiola, who is not yet Roman Catholic, is attending Mass in a local community center and also attending casual rosaries for his family and boyfriends, said he had never seen the Roman Catholic faith so united.

" It was Grace Garces Bordallo who helped with this story from Hagatna, Guam.

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