Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Archdiocese Intends To Challenge Law

The lawyers for the Archdiocese of Agana intends to challenge the public law that was recently passed lifting the statutes of limitations. If the law is determined to be unconstitutional, it will be struck down by the courts. That will also bring an end to the civil lawsuits filed by the alleged victims.  According to The Pacific Daily News:

U.S. District Court of Guam Magistrate Judge Joaquin Manibusan granted on Monday separate requests of three California-based lawyers from two law firms to represent the Archdiocese of Agana in clergy abuse cases, along with local counsel John C. Terlaje.

They are Attorney Paul E. Gaspari, shareholder at the San Francisco-based law firm of Weintraub Tobin Chediak Coleman Grodin; Attorney Mary McNamara, a partner at the San Francisco-based law firm of Swanson & McNamara; and Attorney Britt Evangelist, an associate also at Swanson & McNamara.

The three U.S.-based lawyers have the expertise and experience that the archdiocese legal team needs, Terlaje said.

Gaspari, for example, represented Catholic archdioceses in California in clergy abuse cases, one of which resulted in the affirmation of a dismissal claim against the archdiocese.

Terlaje said the legal team is preparing the archdiocese’s response to lawsuits filed by former altar boys who alleged they were abused by Catholic priests.

The law lifting the statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases is relatively new and is open to challenges, he said.

That law paved the way for at least 15 former altar boys to sue current and former priests, the archdiocese and up to 50 entities that may have helped, aided, abetted, concealed or covered up the clergy sexual abuses.

Terlaje’s law firm requested and received in December nearly 600 pages of documents related to the development of the law lifting the statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases. The request was sent and responded to by the office of Sen. Frank B. Aguon Jr., whose committee held hearings and worked on the bill. The Legislature passed the bill with a 13-0 vote.

Gov. Eddie B. Calvo on Sept. 23, 2016, signed that bill into law, eliminating the statute of limitations on lawsuits against those who abused children, as well as the institutions that supported the abusers.

Calvo at the time said the new law “opens the doors of justice to those who suffered a terrible harm as children,” but cited several legal and technical concerns with the bill, including whether it is unconstitutional to retroactively lift the statute of limitations on civil suits.

On Jan. 24, six former altar boys started filing their clergy abuse lawsuits in the U.S. District Court of Guam after eight trial court judges in the Superior Court of Guam recused themselves from hearing their cases, citing conflicts of interest or potential conflicts of interest. Superior Court judges cited relationships with either the alleged clergy abuse survivors or the defendants, including Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron and the archdiocese.

Between Nov. 10 and Jan. 27, eight judges filed a total of 84 disqualification notices related to clergy abuse cases.

Three days after the six federal court filings, the three California lawyers petitioned the court to allow them to practice on Guam to act as co-counsel for the archdiocese.

Terlaje said the three lawyers were on Guam last week to meet with the archdiocese’s leadership, including Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes, about the clergy abuse cases.

“Hopefully, it’s not going to be a long, drawn-out battle, but that depends (on a number of things),” Terlaje said. “The new law will be challenged for the first time. It was signed only a few months ago.”

But while the archdiocese’s legal team is preparing a legal battle that Terlaje hopes will not be a long, drawn-out one, Terlaje said “there’s always room for settlement,” just like in any other case.

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, sent by the Vatican in June to temporarily administer the Catholic Church on Guam when Apuron was placed on leave over sex abuse allegations, had said the archdiocese is setting up a trust fund to help those who said they are victims of clergy abuse. Apuron, Guam's archbishop for nearly 31 years, is among the priests accused of raping and sexually abusing altar boys.

Terlaje also acknowledged that the filing of clergy abuse lawsuits in federal court presents additional challenges, but said he is confident in the expertise rendered by the U.S.-based law firms.

The lawsuits filed in federal court started referencing the Vatican, the seat of the Catholic Church. The lawsuits state the Hagåtña archdiocese is an entity under the control of the Holy See, based in Vatican City, Rome, Italy, and as such constitutes a citizen of a foreign country for purposes of diversity jurisdiction. The Vatican also confirmed that Apuron's canonical trial is ongoing.

Archdiocese Assembles Expert Lawyers

So far, all the six cases of sexual allegation filed in federal court involved Father Louis Brouillard. According to the Guam Post:

Archdiocese assembles expert legal team

High-powered attorneys, including those from a law firm that has represented the Vatican, is joining the Archdiocese of Agana’s legal team to defend sex abuse cases in federal court.
Britt Evangelist, an associate from the San Francisco-based law firm of Swanson & McNamara LLP, has been retained to be co-counsel for the Archdiocese of Agana, according to a petition filed Jan. 27 in the U.S. District Court of Guam. The petition asks the court’s permission for Evangelist to join local attorney John C. Terlaje as co-counsel.
Information on Swanson & McNamara’s website describes the law firm as an expert in international law, and which has been hired in past church-related sex abuses cases to work without other attorneys in cases involving the Holy See and the Vatican Bank.
The Holy See is the universal government of the Roman Catholic Church and operates from the Vatican in Rome, and the pope is its head, according to the State Department.
Allegations of abuse
The months-long controversy involving more than a dozen allegations of sexual abuse of altar boys by former Guam priests initially played out in the local court, until last week.
As of last week, eight local judges recused from hearing some of the sex abuses cases because of a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest, Guam attorney David Lujan’s law firm last week shifted six of the cases to the federal court in Guam.
Tim Rohr, a widely followed Guam commenter on Catholic issues through his blog, said that the significance of this transfer of venue is that these cases in federal court are now on the Vatican’s radar.
Swanson & McNamara is applying to be co-counsel for the archdiocese’s defense in at least one case, filed by Lujan’s firm on behalf of at least one former altar boy, Leo B. Tudela.
Paul Gaspari, from another San Francisco law firm, Weintraub Tobin Chediak Coleman Grodin, also seeks to be co-counsel for the archdiocese.
Other former Guam priests were accused in sexual abuses cases filed in local court, but the six cases filed in federal court all involve Louis Brouillard.
Brouillard statement
The retired priest issued a signed statement, released to the public in October and apologizing to Tudela and other victims, which said there may have been 20 or so other young boys under his authority in Guam who were molested.
The six recently filed lawsuits in federal court sought $30 million in damages combined.
The Archdiocese of Agana is an entity under the control of the Holy See, based in Vatican City, Rome, and as such constitutes a citizen of a foreign country for purposes of diversity jurisdiction, according to the lawsuits Lujan filed in federal court.
'Prayers as a penance'
Brouillard’s statement last October stated he told other priests and the leadership of the archdiocese of the abuses.
One of the lawsuit states that Brouillard, in his statement, was told to "do better and say prayers as a penance.”
District Court Judge Joaquin Manibusan approved the applications for co-counsel.


As of last week, eight local judges recused themselves from hearing some of the sex abuse cases because of a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Off-Island Law Firms Join Archdiocese

According to KUAM news, an off-island law firm has joined forces with Attorney Ed Terlaje to assist the Archdiocese of Agana.  Let us hope and pray that they are able to help the Archdiocese. According to KUAM news:

Off-island law firms representing the Archdiocese of Agana visited the island last week

Posted: Jan 30, 2017 7:03 PMUpdated: Jan 30, 2017 7:03 PM
The off-island law firms who represent the Archdiocese of Agana visited the island last week. In a statement from the Archdiocese, they confirm members from law firms Swanson & McNamara, as well as Weintraub Tobin, visited to perform consultative work for the cases on sexual abuse. "We are grateful for their work."
According to District Court filings, attorneys Mary McNamara, Britt Evangelist, and Paul Gaspari have filed and were approved to represent the Archdiocese alongside local attorney John Terlaje. Last week, six of the fifteen victims moved their cases from the local court to the federal court because each of the judges in the Superior Court of Guam disqualified themselves. Among their reasons for recusal included close relations to the accused, including Archbishop Anthony Apuron, ties to the church as parishioners, and relations with named victims. To date, the suit seeks damages of up to $30 million against the local church and the Vatican. The remaining victims are expected to move their cases from the local to the federal court this week.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Agana Parishioners Targeted

Archbishop Byrnes has no power and authority to remove Archbishop Apuron. Only Pope Frances has the authority to remove him.  Archbishop Apuron has claimed that he is innocent and is currently fighting for his name and reputation.  However, as the protests drag on, one can already see the frustration of the Junglewatch Nation.  According to an anonymous poster in the jungle:
We don't stop the masses with the picket line--that is not the intention; but we would like the Faithful who go to the 9:30 AM mass not to cross the picket line--via the front entrance or via the side entrances--to show their support to rid our Church of incompetent leadership and others who have abused and tried to fool us; as well as misusing our Church resources. SILENT NO MORE! There are other masses the Faithful could attend at Agana Heights, Sinajana, Mongmong, Toto, Ordot. Support the picketers by attending mass at these other parishes until Archbishop Byrnes and the Vatican removes Apuron as our Archbishop and that includes even in name only; and also to ban all his songs on the KOLG radio 90.9 FM. It makes me sick to my stomach to hear him sing our Chamorro songs of devotion and others. Really, this Archbishop loves himself only. Remember when he met Walter Denton in Washington state at a Guamanian gathering? Instead of apologizing to Walter for what he did to him, which is what Walter was seeking, instead Apuron offered him one of his CD's!! What a narcissist! No wonder why he thinks he has done nothing wrong. A
As one can see, there has already been a suggestion in the jungle to target the Agana parishioners who attend the 9:30 am Mass.  By preventing and intimidating parishioners from attending Mass at 9:30 am, they would no longer be conducting a peaceful demonstration.  They will be infringing on the rights of people to freely worship in their church. 

Canonical Trial ExIsts

In his blog, Tim Rohr stated that there was no canonical trial.  According to Tim Rohr:

He's in the area. I have "hard copy" evidence. He's not in Rome defending himself at his canonical trial because there's isn't one.

In today's Pacific Daily News, the Vatican has confirmed that the canonical trial is ongoing.  The PDN further stated:
Attorney Michael Pfau, a leading Washington State-based lawyer who has Attorney Michael Pfau, a leading Washington State-based lawyer who has represented hundreds of clergy abuse survivors in multiple states, said the Guam situation is “unique” because its own archbishop is the one accused of abuse.
“Most cases involve a bishop accused of covering up the abuse of his priests,” said Pfau, who also handled cases involving abuse by the bishop’s close advisers.
Pfau has been working with the Guam-based law office of Dooley Roberts Fowler & Visosky LLP on clergy abuse cases.
The Holy See Press Office at the Vatican confirmed that Apuron’s canonical trial is ongoing. However, the office said it cannot release other information until after the trial is over, and referred further questions about the trial to the local archdiocese, the Archdiocese of Agana.
 We do not know how long the canonical trial will be.  Archbishop Byrnes says that the trial is already in its second phase, but we do not know how many phases there are.  However, the good news so far is that the canonical trial is taking place at a slow pace. This indicates that the judges are looking into everything.  Another good news is that there was no penalty imposed on Archbishop Apuron. Let us continue to pray for Archbishop Apuron. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

SNAP Exposed, Executive Director of SNAP Resigned

David Clohessy, executive Director of SNAP (Survivors Network of those abused by Priests) resigned following a lawsuit filed in Illinois on January 17th. According to news report (the bold is mine):
The lawsuit by Gretchen Rachel Hammond names Clohessy and other SNAP leaders as defendants and alleges that "SNAP does not focus on protecting or helping survivors — it exploits them."
The group, which more than any other is responsible for revealing the scandals that have continued to rock Catholicism in the U.S. and around the world, "routinely accepts financial kickbacks from attorneys in the form of 'donations,' " Hammond alleges.
In exchange for the kickbacks, SNAP refers survivors as potential clients to attorneys, who then file lawsuits on behalf of the survivors against the Catholic Church. These cases often settle, to the financial benefit of the attorneys and, at times, to the financial benefit of SNAP, which has received direct payments from survivors' settlements."
Hammond, who worked on fundraising for SNAP from 2011 until 2013, said she feared reprisals from SNAP leaders over her objections to the lawyers' payments and suffered serious health problems as a result. She said she was fired in 2013, allegedly because she confronted her bosses over their practices with victims' attorneys and that the dismissal has hurt her career. 
The lawsuit was first reported by National Catholic Reporter.

Does this news have anything to do with Guam?  Yes.  You see.... the sexual abuse ad, which targeted Archbishop Apuron and published in the PDN by Tim Rohr and CCOG, was actually FIRST published by SNAP on November 8, 2015.   It was Tim who gave the ad to SNAP to be published in the Bishop accountability website six months before he put it in the PDN.  

After SNAP published the sexual abuse ad, Tim copied the ad he gave to SNAP onto his blog on November 10, 2015, which you can see in his Junglewatch blog here.  Below is a screen shot of the junglewatch blog. Notice the dates SNAP and Tim had the sexual abuse ad posted against Archbishop Apuron:  

With the help of Tim Rohr, SNAP targeted Archbishop Apuron by publishing the sex abuse ad first in November 8, 2015.  Rohr and CCOG then placed their sex abuse ad six months later in May, 2016.  We know that Tim was against the Archbishop because Father Paul and Monsignor James was removed.  But why would SNAP be interested in accusing Archbishop Apuron?  Could it be because as the news article pointed out: "In exchange for the kickbacks, SNAP refers survivors as potential clients to attorneys, who then file lawsuits on behalf of the survivors against the Catholic Church. These cases often settle, to the financial benefit of the attorneys and, at times, to the financial benefit of SNAP, which has received direct payments from survivors' settlements."  

Will SNAP get any "kickbacks" from the Guam's lawsuit against the Archdiocese? They can because they were involved in publishing the sex abuse ad, which Tim Rohr provided for them.  There is also evidence showing that Tim Rohr knew these alleged victims before November, 2015.  Why?  Because this is what Tim Rohr stated in his blog on August 19, 2015:
To clarify, there is no accusation against Fr. Jack. The reference to his name appears to be related to the fact that the alleged victims may have confided in Fr. Jack at the time since he was Apuron's assistant when he was in Agat.
You can find the above statement here.  Below is a screen shot of Rohr making that statement.  Again, notice the date: 

However, it was not until late May to June 2016 when it was made public that two of the alleged victims (Roy Quintanilla and Walter Denton) stated that they confided in Father Jack.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

CCOG Questions Investigation Over Apuron

Archbishop Apuron left Guam sometime in the last part of May of last year after Roy Quintanilla came forth accusing him of sexual abuse.  The Vatican later placed the Archbishop on leave last June after former altar boys accused him of sexual abuse in the 1970s.  CCOG has also been questioning the investigations into Archbishop Apuron.  According to news report:
In November, his successor Archbishop Michael Byrnes, said a canonical trial had been initiated.
But the Concerned Catholics of Guam President David Sablan said they hadn't heard anything about how it is going.
"We're concerned about the time it's taking because most of the facts are very clear. But I think there are others in the Vatican who are very supportive of Archbishop Apuron and if they are trying to cover up this whole mess that he has been involved in here in Guam then they would be complicit in basically what he has done to harm the church here."
Obviously, CCOG President David Sablan feels that the facts were already laid out in the jungle and that it should not take the judges too long to decide that the Archbishop is guilty.  The fact that the canonical trial is taking this long is actually good news.  Why?  Because the three judges are not relying on so-called facts from the jungle.  After all, the jungle has been known to bring forth accusations against any bishop they do not like. 

For example, when Archbishop Hon lectured Father Mike Crisostomo and Father Jeff for disobedience, the jungle was upset about it.  They were so upset that Tim Rohr even came out with an accusation against Archbishop Hon.  According to Tim Rohr:
This guy is tricky. Hon will get his revenge on us and here is how he is going to do it. He's going to bring up an accusation of sex abuse against Fr. Mike Crosostomo. He's going to use someone who "makes his bed with whoever will sleep in it." Stay tuned. This is one evil dude. 
Below is a screenshot of that accusation: 

Tim Rohr also went further and publicized his accusation in the media.  He went on air in the Patti Arroyo talk show on September 26, 2016 and said that Archbishop Hon has someone in line ready to accuse Father Mike Crisostomo of sexual abuse.  You can listen to it in the weblink below:  

K57 Interview with Patti Arroyo 

The question is.....how did Tim know who this "someone" was when Archbishop Hon had no idea who he was?  If Archbishop Hon was supposed to have this person in line ready to make such an accusation, why is it that Hon did not know the person and Tim did? By the way, whoever this person is, he never came out to make his accusation against Father Mike. 

Therefore, the three judges on the canonical trial will not swallow everything the jungle says.  This is why the canonical trial is taking long, and that is actually good news.  However, this brings us now to Archbishop Byrnes.  It is already obvious from some of the postings and comments made in the jungle that they are not pleased with some of Archbishop Byrnes' decision.  So, what accusation are they going to bring forth against Archbishop Byrnes?  


Under this thread, Jokers Wild suggested that the person may have come out, which may explain why Father Mike was not transferred to the Yigo parish. First of all, the intention of this OP is not on Father Mike or on the unknown person.  The accusation was made against Archbishop Hon.  Tim Rohr accused Archbishop Hon of setting up someone to bring a false charge of sexual abuse against Father Mike.  That was the accusation. 

Furthermore, the accusation was not made at the time Father Mike brought up the moratorium.  Why?  Because on the exact same day, Tim Rohr made the following post on his blog, which can be found here.  According to Tim:
Hearing that something bad happened to Fr. Mike Crisostomo yesterday. Hon, I guess you want violence.
Below is a screenshot shot of that post:

Rohr was referring to the fact that Father Mike was scolded by Archbishop Hon for refusing to read his letter.  If you read the thread under that particular post, Father Efren posted explaining how Father Mike was treated by Hon.  The post above was made on the exact same day that Rohr posted his accusation against Archbishop Hon.  All you need to do was look at the dates of the two posts.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Interesting Discussions In The PDN

Alexander Chen
In other words...

CCOG are the new Bishop of Guam.
Accept it, this is the new protestant Catholic Church of Guam.

CCOG despises the Catholic Church; They only obey to their thinking; they stir dissent; they accuse based on 'allegations'; they want everyone to agree with them; they are the Despot's in Command of the Catholic church or else they let their smear-dog (Tim Rohr) lose who with his JungleTrash sewer-machine smear and throw mud at anyone who opposes their hateful rhetoric.

Sadly, and because the real Christians are the silent majority, they have become the face of the Catholic Church in the public-sewer sphere.

My condolences to the Guam faithful.

Tim Rohr
Well since the bishops are either busy grabbing pre-pubescent genitalia or ramming the rectums of 12 years olds, and guys like Byrnes and Cristobal are more interested in covering for their brothers arses, well, yah, then we'll do this ourselves. LOL
LikeReplyMark as spam1Jan 17, 2017 6:53am
Alexander Chen
@Tim Rohr - Your sincerity would indeed 'appear' genuine if you did not resort to shocking and vulgar images in order to argue your opinion. Moreover, your indiscriminate generalization of all clergy, including Bishops (saints and sinners) does not help your cause either as it seems that you are more desperate to bring people to hate rather than to genuinely solve any problem(s) with the Church in Guam.

If you would at least deny your Catholic Faith or stop professing that you really care for the Church that would be more cogent, as it is you are a hypocrite professing to care, because if a new Bishop arrives that is more merciful and compassionate than your pre-ordained-hate-filled conclusions, then the real Tim Rohr comes out of the shadows and starts spewing vulgar hatred.
LikeReplyMark as spamJan 17, 2017 8:01am
Jose Martinez
Alexander Chen LOL. Good times.
LikeReplyMark as spam1Jan 17, 2017 12:23pm
Danny Sabato
Alexander Chen You are the one supporting a child molester from the beginning, so you should stay out of anything, since you are on the wrong side of the fence!
LikeReplyMark as spam2Jan 17, 2017 7:56pm
Alexander Chen
@Danny Sabato - What you arrogantly call a child molester, to me is as much a victim as the victim of a pedophile. Apuron is a victim of smear and character assassination by PDN/JungleTrash fakeNews (and its followers) as long as Apuron calls himself innocent, he is worthy of being believed given his loyal and faithful public record. You may not agree in the direction Apuron led the Church, but that does not mean he is a pedophile. I will only change my mind if he confesses to the crimes or until a sentence from an impartial and fair trial has passed a guilty verdict.
In the meantime, the vitriolic and irrational hatred from you and Tim Rohr continues to give evidence that you both are either unwittingly naïve, guided by a piously intended error [and ‘enjoy’ the use of a bully pulpit] or have an invested interest to protect, a corrupt ulterior motive that influences you. I called your piously intended error “irrational” because you have NO PROOF but driven only by serious 'allegations', yet you incite vicious hatred without any of the prudent restrain that this delicate situation demands, as both ‘human’ lives are at stake of being equal victims of injustice. Given that I do not think that Tim and you are idiots, this inspires an air of suspicion, corruption or malice in your intentions. If only you would offer solutions not vulgar jokes, reconciliation not dissention, you would be more credible.
As for Apuron, he has already paid a high price, albeit unwarranted, for all the vitriol from Tim and his PDN friends is all hearsay and smear. He has paid a high price for no proved/evidenced crime whatsoever; Yet Tim and his followers continue to enjoy freedoms and rights. Is this fair? Is this Christian? In order to understand this injustice you need to be a Christian and be able to put yourself in the shoes of BOTH victims. Evidently, Tim is unable or will not do this. Moreover, as if this is not enough, Tim make no excuses as he relentlessly uses Apuron as the bottom of vulgar distasteful puerile jokes, smearing the whole church and anyone that does not agree with him in the process – to call Tim a bully is very appropriate and well earned/deserved. Tim laughs that Apuron, a Guamanian, cannot even set foot anymore in his own land, not even if he is proven to be innocent. Even if he is proved to be innocent in the Vatican trial, PDN and the JungleTrash will always spin the facts to spread distrust towards the Church or any jury whatsoever.
In the end, what does Tim do with his privileges, freedoms and rights? It is self-evident in every posting you read from him which, if you ask me, he is driven by demonic wounded pride. A poor lonely soul.
LikeReplyMark as spamJan 18, 2017 2:07am
Danny Sabato
Alexander Chen You are really a fanatic
LikeReplyMark as spamJan 18, 2017 6:15pm
Alexander Chen
@Danny Sabato - I am not the one LOLing at vulgar jokes, nor condemning or ridiculing anyone without the Christian decency of giving them the benefit of the doubt and a fair trial.
LikeReplyMark as spamJan 19, 2017 4:21am
Tim Rohr
LikeReplyMark as spamJan 19, 2017 10:28am
Tim Rohr
Alexander Chen

It's not me:

“In addressing the situation of Anthony S. Apuron, after hearing all of the accounts of sexual molestation and rape that have been publicly disclosed by the victims that have bravely come forward, I have no doubt that Anthony Apuron can be considered a serial child molester who has perpetrated his criminal sexual conduct behavior undetected and/or unreported over many years.”

- Public Testimony on Bill 326-33, Vincent Pereda, Board Certified Clinical Social Worker by the AmericanBoard of Examiners, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, 30 years of clinical experience as a professional counselor, program manager and clinical administrator, worked in juvenile and adult corrections, mental health and for the Judiciary of Guam, worked 20 years as clinical social worker and counselor for Department of the Navy and Veterans Affairs, continues to work as part time counselor for the Superior Court of Guam in which he works with both juvenile and adult sex offenders performance clinical evaluations and providing direct treatment intervention.
LikeReplyMark as spamJan 19, 2017 11:30am
Alexander Chen
@Tim Rohr - So in your world, these individuals could NEVER be bribed or bought in a defamation campaign against a public Catholic Church official huh? that NEVER happens, right? Here is where you lose your marbles.
Read the story of Susana and Joseph (the son of Jacob) for reasons why in Christianity, outside of a fair trial, we do not engage in witch hunting, this is 21st-Century-AMERICA not the middle ages.
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