Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, CA, Western Regional Director of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org)
Our hearts ache for Doris Concepcion, who has so bravely spoken out about the abuse her son endured.
Parents of sexual abuse victims carry an awful and painful burden. Ms. Concepcion only wanted the best for her son. She had no idea that she was possibly putting her child in the path of a predator. We hope that Ms. Concepcion finds the peace and healing she so deeply deserves. Her powerful words and story have made is safer for victims of abuse everywhere—no matter the predator—to come forward and find healing and justice.
Two brave people have now come forward to allege child sexual abuse at the hands of Archbishop Apuron. The time for “internal investigations,” bullying parishioners, and maintaining the status quo is over.
It is time for the Vatican and Pope Francis to adhere to their promises of child safety. They must immediately step in and publicly remove Apuron from his office until a complete and independent investigation is complete.
In the meantime, Apuron should and must do the right thing and voluntarily step aside. No cleric, especially an archbishop, should remain in ministry when he has two credible allegations of abuse that have not been investigated.
We implore other victims to come forward to law enforcement and civil authorities. As Roy Quintanilla and Doris Concepcion have shown Guam’s victims of abuse, help and support are available.