The following was taken from the Pacific Daily News:
For the second time in two weeks, the Archdiocese of Agana announced plans to file lawsuits against those whom it said have been perpetrating “malicious lies” about Archbishop Anthony Apuron and the Catholic Church. It also plans to bring the case through the church’s own court system.
The archdiocese’s statement comes on the heels of the latest allegation against the highest Catholic leader in Guam.
Doris Y. Concepcion, of Prescott, Arizona, recently told Pacific Daily News her deceased son, when he was serving as an altar boy, was molested by Apuron when the latter was the parish priest at Mount Carmel Church in Agat in the late 1970s.
Concepcion said her son, Joseph A. Quinata, revealed his secret shortly before he died 11 years ago.
“Another malicious and calumnious accusation against the Archbishop has surfaced; this time from the mother of a man who has been deceased for eleven years. The Archbishop strongly denies this accusation as he had done so before,” the Archdiocese of Agana said in a statement sent by Father Edivaldo da Silva Oliveira on Tuesday afternoon.
The Archdiocese’s statement also comes hours after the world’s largest support group for clergy abuse victims called on Apuron to step aside, as well as for the Vatican and Pope Francis to remove him.
The Archdiocese of Agana said the fierce attacks against the archbishop exploded three years ago when he removed the administration of the Cathedral-Basilica, the Museum and the Catholic Cemeteries of Guam for reasons of financial mismanagement.
This time around, the archdiocese’s statement has named at least one specific person and his “associates.”
“Tim Rohr and his associates launched a vicious and calumnious attack on the Archbishop and the Church,” the Archdiocese of Agana said. “They demanded that the Archbishop return to the former ways of financial administration, when the archdiocese was increasing debts every year because of mismanagement. They wanted to sell the seminary in Yona to cover the substantial debt accumulated by the previous administration of these three entities. The Archbishop was adamantly opposed to the idea of selling the seminary to cover these debts. Thus began a malicious campaign to denounce and attack the Archbishop at whatever cost to get him out of the way.”
Rohr, who writes about the local Catholic Church on his blog site JungleWatch, said Tuesday he welcomes the legal action that the Archdiocese is planning, hoping that everything will be revealed in court.
He said it was strange that the Archdiocese named him in its statement, but didn’t send him a copy of the statement. Rohr said he heard about the statement only when contacted by PDN.
Rohr said Father Edivaldo da Silva Oliveira of the Archdiocese didn’t even bother to put a specific name of “who is taking legal action” when they managed to specifically name him as among those they accuse.
Rohr also pointed out that he himself did not know Doris Concepcion, or Roy Quintanilla, the man who came forward a few weeks ago to say that he was molested by Apuron when he was an altar boy in the 1970s.
He said with the way things are, others may come forward to say that they or their loved ones were also abused by Apuron or other priests.
The Archdiocese, in a statement, said “the perpetrators of these calumnies have resorted to insults and violence revealing their true intention to destroy the Catholic Church and discredit the Archbishop by whatever means.”
“Their method is to confuse and mislead the faithful, even to the point of inducing some to bring false testimony. This was predicted even before the first accusation was revealed.”
“Those who are orchestrating this campaign are inciting people into hatred of the Archbishop and the Catholic Church. They have produced scandal, confusion and grave errors with the cruel intent to injure the Archbishop, the Catholic Church in Guam and many other people of good will who have been outraged and harassed. Therefore, the Archdiocese of Agana is in the process of taking canonical and legal measures against those perpetrating these malicious lies,” the Archdiocese said.
“Archbishop Anthony urges the faithful not to be afraid, and to stand for the truth and he asks for your prayers,” it added.