Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, CA, Western Regional Director of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
We are encouraged that the Vatican has taken this first step. Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron is now a twice-accused predator archbishop—who has also been accused of intimidating victims, bullying Catholics, and manipulating church rules regarding abuse to protect himself.
But this is only a first step.
We urge the new administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai to engage in a complete and independent investigation of the allegations against Apuron and act upon the findings swiftly and appropriately.
We hope that the new administrator reaches out to and works with victims and local Catholics who have demanded transparency and change. Without their bravery and tenacity, Apuron’s alleged crimes would never have been exposed.
We also encourage anyone who has seen or suspected abuse to report immediately to civil authorities.
Finally, we ask Guam’s lawmakers to revisit legislation that allows victims of sexual abuse to use the civil courts to expose their abuser and the organizations that cover-up and facilitate abuse. It is only through this kind of legislation—that includes exposing organizations that hire and protect predators—that the people of Guam can learn the true scope and scale of the cover-up of sexual abuse.