by Rose Gamble The Tablet
Since 2016, there have since been at least 223 lawsuits filed accusing 35 clergymen, teachers, and Boy Scout leaders of sexual abuse
Court documents have shown that a systemic pattern of sexual abuse by clergy of the Catholic Church took place on the US territory of Guam for over six decades.
The Associated Press conducted an extensive investigation that found collusion and cover-ups from priests all the way up to the top of the church’s hierarchy had been happening since the 1950s.
Anthony Sablan Apuron served as the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Agaña, Guam, from 1986 until 2016 when he was convicted in a secret Vatican trial and suspended. In 2018 he was found guilty of sexual abusing minors and finally removed from his post.
There have since been at least 223 lawsuits filed accusing 35 clergymen, teachers, and Boy Scout leaders of sexual abuse. The Guam archdiocese filed for bankruptcy protection this year, estimating $45 million in liabilities.
Apuron was named by seven men in lawsuits, including one by his own nephew.
“He believed he was untouchable, more powerful than the governor,” Water Denton, a former US Army sergeant who alleges he was raped by Apuron 40 years ago as an altar boy, told the Associated Press.
Denton reported the rape in August 2015 to Apuron’s superior, the apostolic nuncio for the Pacific. He also wrote a four-page letter to Pope Francis, and the Vatican opened an investigation.
In May 2016, a Guam survivor publicly accused Apuron of molesting him. Denton then informed the church that he too was going public. The day before his scheduled press conference, Pope Francis suspended Apuron, Associated Press reports.
In a written statement issued in April, after Pope Francis had rejected his final appeal, Apuron maintained his innocence but compared the decision to a death sentence.
“I lose my homeland, my family, my church, my people, even my language, and I remain alone in complete humiliation, old and in failing health,” Apuron said.
Despite his being removed from public ministry he remains a bishop and receives a monthly $1,500 stipend from the church.
When the Associated Press approached the Guam archdiocese it said it did not know where Apuron is.
Among the abuse cases revealed in the documents is that of Rev. Louis Brouillard, who came to Guam after being expelled from the US for allegedly making sexual advances on a boy. He was first reported for abuse on the island in 1956, but moved to another parish. While serving on the island for 30 years, Brouillard is accused of abusing about 132 children, both men and women. He was transferred to Minnesota in 1981 after a complaint against him was lodged with the Guam Police, according to the documents.
In 2016, Brouillard signed a statement admitting to abusing at least 20 children. Brouillard died while still a priest in 2018.
No member of the Catholic clergy on Guam has ever been prosecuted for a sex crime, including Apuron and Brouillard.
Documents that could have helped prosecute the abusers are believed to have been destroyed. Apuron’s successor, Michael Jude Byrnes, has said he heard rumours of “a big bonfire” before Apuron departed.
Since Apuron’s departure and the subsequent lawsuits, priests in Guam are not permitted to be alone with children, and a committee is reviewing sexual assault claims.
Another country and diocese bites the dust.
60 years of the abuse of minors by the archbishop and priests.
We have not yet dealt with the abuse of children by missionaries, including the Irish, in Africa.
The African story will be massive.
20 replies on “DOCUMENTS EXPOSE 6 DECADES OF ABUSE IN GUAM.”
Priests in Guam aren’t the only Christ-betrayers who should NEVER be allowed alone with children; NO Roman Catholic priest should EVER be permitted ANY contact with a child.
Can’t people see the obvious? There is something intrinsically, and deeply, EVIL in an institution that attracts such perverted men.
Roman Catholic priesthood, underpinned by a ‘theology’ that semi-deifies the ordained, was NEVER instituted by Christ, but by men themselves.
Next time you see one of these Christ-betrayers think ‘paedophile’; it is the only, safe default position.😈
Poster at 11:34pm
How dare you say that all priests are like that, I agree that any priest credibly accused of abuse of any kind has to be dealt with immediately by the full force of the law. To say that all priests are like that, you are a truly evil person. It’s only a few month’s ago on this blog allegations were made about you and your nephews, I remember you were outraged and didn’t like it. So you have some cheek, not all priests are as you say we have plenty of good priests, you just never hear about them. Those who stay loyal to their vows are indeed God’s chosen wither the likes of you like it or not, look to yourself your post sounds quite hysterical and full of your usual bitter vitriol. Will you ever get over being found unworthy for The Sacred Priesthood and stop giving out the same old rants, about those who were, I don’t think so.
Bella, what criteria is used for determining those ‘worthy for the Sacred Priesthood’, considering the number of priests in prison?
I have not the slightest interest in canonical tribunals. Will Apuron be prosecuted by US legal authorities? Do Statutes of Limitations apply in these matters? Why have authorities failed to initiate legal proceedings against individuals in the Archdiocese?
Where is Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron?
Any guesses? Perhaps out of reach of US extradition warrants?
Anonymous at 5:02pm
The criteria is to stay true to their vows and their priestly duties, and I think you’ll find that their are more priests who are not in prison than those who are.
Bella, prior to ordination. How come so many criminal misfits were deemed ‘ worthy for sacred priesthood’?
It’s sad. The question that’s never answered properly is why did they do it hi
There’s not one straightforward obvious answer Fly. But certain patterns are clear. Off the top of my head:
1. An inherent lack of instinctive morality and lack of empathy towards others.
2. By membership of a ‘clerical club’ the above default attitude has been accentuated by suppression of normal healthy sexual expression.
3. Over time, the erosion of youthful altruism has combined with sexual frustration, and significantly, a loss of belief in religious relevance and consequent abandonment of customary inhibitions.
4. Opportunity: access to vulnerable victims susceptible to misguided ‘respect’ for the offender’s clerical status, relevance and power.
That’s what immediately comes to mind. Any other views welcomed.
+Pat: Has the response to Fly I posted about 9:15 this morning been on view then gone AWOL? Looking at DL’s comment to me at 9:37 gives that impression.
Anonymous at 6:49
I’m afraid I can’t answer that, its a mystery I have often asked how in God’s Holy Name did Magna ever get as far as formation, what a relief he was found out it could have been a disaster, but God’s good we were saved from that disaster Deo Gratias.
Based on my experience with RCC who ran school for the deaf
150 years ago they set it up purely for idealistic reasons as society abandoned them kids with disabilities like defa kids . That was 1850 approx. Then things started to change to monetary reasons, vocational ideas, educational after 1900 AD.
Then sometime after 1920 things began to change quite drastically as sex came on with power to control things such as money, power and growing status of the church that time as they took over the vacuum which was left by the British govt.
Also their morality began to change from honesty to downright or serial liars when contested with series of sexual abuses on their parts. Even the priests believed the nuns and CB’s by saying that we made up the stories. Nuns were the worst as they deny and deny until they were blue in the face. Christian Brothers was the opposite as they apologised to me by way of formal letter.
1. Their needs to access the kids which i didnt realise that until few months ago after long thinking as to why church behaved in certain way. Access to kids via schools, hospitals, boy scouts et al. Once you stop their access to kids by withdraw power that they have a hold over education sector re state schools under the church and also to stop giving them money which also gives them power and control. My time in school we had littlel food and often hungry but CB had plenty of money to spend on their fine food and whiskies.
2. Their morality has been long gone back to early 1970 as a vincentain priest broke the seal of confession by reporting to a senior CB (christian Brother). We found out ourselves few months afterwards re that priest.
3. sexual frustrations by the nuns as chief superiore took out her sexual frustrations on us for long time as we never understood it until we grew up re facts of life and sex etc.
4. I dont have any respect for bishops oor cardinals now as they are all in the same boat. Priests cant speak up re bad bevaiour by many bishops/cardinals etc even Pope Francis on a deaf school in Argentina.
5. i dont see priiests as god just that they have healing hands thats all.
6. withdraw their control over schools , various hospitals cos they need the monies to survive as they view themselves as a business organisation. Its shoud be reserved for education, medical specialists not the church to run the schools. hospitals .Church should be strictly reserved only to church services not edcuation or hospital bec of their needs to access money and also access to kids whenever it arose at their own opportunity. Once you cut them off then they become cash poor but still assets rich.
Yesterday I was watching a YouTube of Jordan Peterson and Bishop Barron. Peterson said that the Church has been too heavy on mercy and ignored justice. Too little has been expected of people. It seems to me that the clergy have been cosseted and protected from the consequences of their actions. Doctors, solicitors and teachers would not get away with this. Not only this but these moral degenerates want god like power over people. They demand obedience. This us the epitome of evil and down right satanic.
Nothing new here. it’s what we expect.
You are right + Pat about the impending tsunami of decades of abuse coming from so called ‘missionary’ territories. Firstly, by missionaries from the West who ruled the roost and were pretty much able to have their unquestioned and unaccountable way, and secondly from indigenous clergy who learned their clerical culture from their missionary evangelisers, and have in their own way taken it to new levels.
As to the former, I think there have already been some cases in Ireland of returned missionaries who have been accused of abuse when they were abroad, but in the home secular state criminal system they cannot be prosecuted because of issues of jurisdiction of the courts etc. But, that does not stop the Church from investigating these matters and making these people accountable. Whether they do or not, I am not sure, but I suspect that they would prefer to leave well alone and just hope that distance and time will see these matters disappear.
I think that what will be more earth shattering is going to be in some decades time when Third World countries gain the sense of justice and human rights and accountability in their own countries that we are supposed to have in the West, then people are going to start to bring their own clergy to account for the gross abuses in every sphere that take place by that elite, entitled, unaccountable clerical class. The abuses there are as egregious or even far exceed anything that has happened here in the West, including gross financial corruption.
These will be challenging, and painful, times for the Church in those countries, as it will be for the Universal Church. Could it be existential ? I wonder ? Those offending bishops and priests who have done so much harm to the Church, and continue to do so, could bring our Church to its end. The Holy Spirit can only work with people who want to work with him, and so far we see so much of the clerical class working against the Holy Spirit in protecting, defending and nurturing the Church. Shame on them.
It’s sad. Why is control and sexual manipulation so prevalent in the church over the centuries. What is it to with Jesus message. Why the fek is celibacy so important hi
especially after the parties in Cap diAgde, like the beach house on the Jersey Shore, similar events took place with the kitten seminarians.
Roman catholic church viewed themselves as unaccountable and unanswerable to anybody cos they conisder themselves as men of god. Its that unaccountability that Pope/cardinals get away with murder just because the are ‘the state’. They protected Cardinal Law cos of his generous donations of millions to the vatican.
Also the fact that they are unable to regulate themselves as regards to sexual crimes and crimes that some priests committed brazenly in public and two fingers (up yours) sign to the world. They don’t give a fig about us especially the victims especially the Vatican/popes/Cardinals/bishops. Knowing that fact that enabled them to get away with murder time again and again. When will the police and the legal authorities ever learn about the Modus operandi of the church itself??
I think what feeds the church mostly although i could be wrong in some areas is
1.access to children/kids by setting up education centres, hospitals, So that would enable them to access under a different guise say school for holy rosary (Cabra school for deaf boys).
2. Access to money provided by donations and church collections on weekly basis to keep up their lifestyle like the BLING bishop of D & C..
3. subservient and obedience to the church enables them to cover up the secrecy of sexual abuses . It’s that secrecy that is totally paramount to the survival of the church itself. Less the leaks the better re image of the catholic church.
Once the secrecy is broken then you all could see the inside wound of the church itself. They relied on that element of secrecy for many decades before the deluge of the dam broke it.
4. Its a career choice option for some gay people who wants to cover up their sexuality and lifestyle as well. They don’t have the spiritual aspect of it. That is to say that it isn’t a spiritual crisis but rather its straight people who were being outed and discouraged from aspiring to priesthood during the seminary days.
5. It’s a huge sexual problem and also the morality of of their sexuality cos they can’t have both ways and also double standards.
Finally Roman cathlic church needs to be held fully accountable for their crimes and misdeeds which derived from their actions and silence as means of tacit consent. Other states around the workd needs to wake u and take on the church fully accountable in a legal context where their state lwas applies NOT the canon law itself (that law protects the church but not the victims and suffering kids.) The Church should face the full rigour of the state law and no excuses coming from their mealy mouthed apologies.Words are meaningless unless action is taken.
Bp Pat, I am bored rigid.