While Senator Cruz spoke out against the Catholic Church, the Archbishop's letter was being read in all Catholic Churches on Guam, and petitions were being circulated among the faithful. The Catholic faithful were urged to sign these petitions which opposed Bill 185. According to KUAM news:
The Archbishop stated, "Homosexuals' acts are sins gravely contrary to chastity." His Excellency has made it clear that the Catholic Church opposes homosexuality and alternative lifestyles. Even during Sunday mass, the leader of the island's Catholic faithful used the pulpit as his platform, urging parishioners to voice their opposition to Bill 185, saying if they don't, they will be condemned.
"If this law passes, I really give up," said the Archbishop. "I cannot go. I mentioned even in the pastoral letter, that my soul is in peril if I remain silent. You cannot remain silent, your soul will also be in peril. God will condemn us."
"It's not being insensitive to those who are homosexual," the Archbishop noted. "We're asking them to convert, to change, to try to find a way out of to be helped out of this homosexual activity and homosexual lifestyle. We need to pray for them. We need to pray for each other and we need to act now."
The Archdiocese of Agana has urged parishioners to sign a petition to senators, urging them to oppose Bill 185 and other similar legislation. Apuron is hoping to gather more than 10,000 signatures.........
For the time being, the Archbishop is scheduled to meet with members of the Guam Legislature tomorrow morning to discuss his concerns.Later, Senator Cruz publicly revealed that he was sexually molested when he was 13 years old by a priest. After his public confession, Archbishop Apuron then met with BJ Cruz along with other senators during a breakfast meeting at the Guam Hilton Resort and Spa. According to Marianas Variety dated October 21, 2009:
Apuron, who has mounted an aggressive lobbying effort against Bill 185, on Tuesday had an audience with senators during a breakfast meeting at the Guam Hilton Resort and Spa.
“It was an occasion for us to share with them the reasons why Bill 185 represents a concern for the society of Guam under many profiles — moral, religious, health,” Apuron said in a statement read before members of the media.
He said the meeting with the senators resulted in “the willingness to defend marriage on Guam as the fundamental institution of our society."
The archbishop did not entertain questions from reporters, but in the same written statement, Apuron responded to Cruz’s revelation about his troubled youth.
“I reiterated my personal regret for the event that painfully affected the life of Sen. BJ Cruz,” Apuron said. “Unfortunately, sins committed by individuals from every walk of life bear consequences that are painful and should be prevented.”During this heated battle with the Archbishop, Senator BJ Cruz said that the Archdiocese needed to clean up their act. He said that sexual molestation by priests have also occurred on Guam. According to KUAM news dated November 2, 2009 (the bold is mine):
And, a self-described, 30 year veteran of the Guam police force, who called into my radio show, stated that he had arrested a Catholic priest who molested a young alter boy on Guam. He stated that after his arrest, the priest admitted to molesting multiple victims on Guam.
According to the retired police officer, this entire incident was covered up by former Archbishop Flores. The alleged offending priest was, according to the retired officer, promptly shipped off-island shortly after his arrest, and never faced justice on Guam.According to the testimony of this retired officer, there was a priest who admitted to molesting several victims on Guam; however, it was the former Archbishop Flores who covered up the crime by sending him off-island.
The weblink I provided also mentioned Archbishop Apuron's apology to the community when he made a terrible statement about the Islamic fundamentalists who killed homosexuals. As a result of the heated arguments between BJ Cruz and the Archbishop, the Senator introduced two bills in February, 2011:
- Bill 34, which would provide a two-year window for victims of child sexual abuse to file cases in the Superior Court of Guam
- Bill 33, which would abolish a statute of limitations on sex crimes committed against victims under the age of majority.
Archdiocese of Agana spokesman Deacon Jeff Barcinas announced that the archdiocese does not support Bill 34-31, introduced by Vice Speaker BJ Cruz.
“Bill 34 is [an attempt] to get back at the Catholic Church for rightfully advocating the views of our faith, a faith that is shared by most people on our island,” Barcinas said.
He said Bill 34 clearly targets the Catholic Church and called it “window legislation.” He said this is because the bill retroactively suspends the statute of limitation for childhood sexual abuse damage claims so lawsuits could be filed........
.Barcinas cited several cases in which advocates of window legislations defended similar bills in the U.S. claiming that these measures do not specifically identify Catholic institutions by name.It was Deacon Jeff Barcinas who spoke out against Bill 34 and said that the bill should exclude "institutions." He spoke on behalf of Archbishop Apuron and the Archdiocese of Agana. Archbishop Apuron also came out to speak to certain senators and even the Governor's office. According to Marianas Variety dated February, 2011:
Bill 34 will give a two-year window for victims of childhood sex abuse to pursue civil actions against their perpetrators.
It is a companion legislation to Bill 33, also authored by Cruz, which removes the statute of limitations on sex crimes against minors
“Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron has spoken to a number of senators about the archdiocese’s concerns and also shared the church’s view with the governor’s office,” a press release from the Archdiocese of Agana stated.
As you can see, from past news reports, Archbishop Apuron has been extremely aggressive in his fight against same sex union that it is no wonder why BJ Cruz mentioned ONLY the Archbishop's name and accused him of "pulling strings" on bills he sponsored six years ago.“We are hopeful that Governor Calvo will veto the bill,” it added.