Catholic World News

Suspended Guam archbishop awaits canonical trial outcome before settling abuse suits

June 15, 2017

A lawyer representing Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who is a defendant in several sex-abuse lawsuits brought by young men in Guam, has indicated that the prelate will not settle those lawsuits until the Vatican concludes his canonical trial.

Attorney Jacqueline Terlaje told a district-court judge that Archbishop Apuron is not yet prepared to engage in settlement talks with his accusers, because the results of the canonical trial would have an obvious bearing on the civil lawsuits. She said that she had been given indications that a Vatican tribunal would soon issue its findings in the case.

Archbishop Apuron was relieved of all pastoral responsibilities last June, after several young men complained that he had molested them. Pope Francis appointed an American prelate, Archbishop Michael Byrnes, as coadjutor archbishop “with special faculties” to lead the Agana, Guam archdiocese until the case is resolved. The archdiocese is currently involved in talks with the archbishop’s accusers, hoping to arrange an out-of-court settlement.

Cardinal Raymond Burke chairs a Vatican tribunal that is investigating the charges against Archbishop Apuron. That tribunal heard its last witness a month ago, and informed sources predict that a ruling will be issued sometime this summer.

 
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