KUAM announced today that former LA priest John Wadeson has been reinstated in the Archdiocese of Agana (Guam).
I have written about Wadeson in the past. According to the Los Angeles Archdiocese, he was twice accused of sexually abusing children and had been banned from working as a priest there.
According to a statement published in The Tidings (the Archdiocese of LA Newspaper), the LA Archdiocese did a investigation and “concluded that there is no reason to preclude Father Wadeson from serving in priestly ministry.”
This decision was based on the fact there has never been a settlement paid on an abuse case against Wadeson. According to the statement, when the allegations first arose, the Society of the Divine Word (the order to which Wadeson belonged) investigated the claims and found them “unverified.”
Here are my issues:
- According to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and every other diocese across the US, the payment of a settlement does NOT equate implied guilt on the behalf of the accused. If this were the case, former San Diego Bishop Robert Brom would have been removed years ago. (He paid a former seminarian a confidential $250,000 settlement for allegedly coercing the victim into sex)
- Why didn’t Wadeson do something immediately when the LA Archdiocese published reports that he was twice accused? If in the same position, I would do everything in my power to clear my name immediately. And I would be public about it to ensure that I was adhering to transparency.
- What does “unverified” mean? That there was only one victim? There were no witnesses? What is a “verified” allegation?
And probably the most troublesome:
- Why would Agana Archbishop Apuron publish this statement?
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has concluded that there is no reason to preclude Father Wadeson from serving in priestly ministry showing that all the rumors and alleged calumnies against him were unfounded.
Rumors and calumnies? It was not a rumor that LA had said he was twice-accused, nor was it a rumor that they had banned him. But by making such a bile-infused statement, Apuron is attempting to silence and shame victims and whistleblowers by labeling them sinners and rumor-mongers.
As I have reiterated numerous times, the clergy sex abuse scandal is not about abuse. It’s about cover-up and how bishops handle allegations of abuse, perpetrators and victims.
Whether or not Wadeson is guilty, the most troubling aspect of this case is how Apuron has used it to silence victims, divide the faithful, bully whistleblowers, and shelter secrets.
3 thoughts on “Guam’s Wadeson reinstated”
Joelle, thank you on behalf of the Catholic Faithful on Guam. Your article is what we have been trying to get out to our people. The cover-ups especially by our Archbishop are rampant and must be exposed at a national level. Recently one of the Neo Catechumenal priest was caught in a car with a 17 year old.
The priest “resigned his pastor duties” and was spirited away. There supposedly is an investigation ongoing but the investigating panel are all Neo Priest. How do you think that one is going to pan out? The incident was supposedly consensual. How does that matter when a priest is involved? Rome does not appear to be listening on the abuses of our Archbishop. I guess it’s going to take a lawsuit to bring it all out. BTW rumor has it the Archbishop is going to sue somebody. Please stay tuned.
When I read about this yesterday I got to the part about the archdiocese investigating itself and I didn’t read any more because I do not trust the archdiocese of los angeles nor any clergy who investigate their own..
I have copies of numerous letters I sent to then cardinal roger Mahoney, bishop Patrick Ziemann and others who were part of that group only to find years later that Ziemann was a predator and Mahoney lied under oath and covered for priest predators and enabled priest child sex abusers escape to mexico and the phillipines. (all documented at bishop accountability.org.)
If they cared about children and they don’t they would not take a chance with this priest.. they would not send him back. I hope the people of guam see this as their ticket to leave the catholic church and find safe places to worship.. places that jesus would approve of.
“…….showing that all the rumors and alleged calumnies against him were unfounded….”
How does Archbishop Apuron arrive at such a conclusion? More importantly, how does this man stand upright? Yes, I guess that such a comment is a calumny but his viewpoint is a calamity.
Everytime such pronouncements are made by the RCC leadership, I feel like someone should pass out the boots and shovel in order to wade through this mess.