Casteix visited Guam in 2010. While here, she heard from many sexual abuse victims. Many of them accused priests on Guam of molesting them. But none of those victims ever accused Archbishop Anthony Apuron of any form of sexual abuse.
"We have never been able to speak to an alleged victim of the Archbishop," Casteix says.Mrs. Casteix made this comment in response to John Toves who claimed that his cousin was sexually molested by Archbishop Apuron. We later learned that John Toves never even spoke to his cousin. He claimed to obtain this information from someone else who heard it from someone else. But the information never came from his cousin. His cousin also never came forward with any sexual allegations.
Then on September 13, 2015, Tim Rohr claimed that the Archdiocese wanted him to discredit SNAP. According to Tim Rohr (the bold is mine):
In April of 2010, while Casteix was on-island, attempting to get victims to come forward, I was called to the chancery by the archbishop's legal counsel. I walked into the chancery conference room and there were several important people seated at the table along with the legal counsel. I knew them all and can name them if need be.I was given a letter by the legal counsel and asked to read it. It was a statement intended to discredit Casteix and get her to go away. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the archbishop's people were very much afraid of what would happen if the statute of limitations were lifted and Casteix was able to get someone to talk.I was asked to take the letter to the media.After reading the letter I put it down and looked up at the others. I then asked a question that sent shock through the room:WHY ARE WE DOING THIS? WHAT DO WE HAVE TO HIDE? LET'S CALL HER BLUFF AND TELL HER TO INVESTIGATE.I still remember the open mouths at the table - mouths that started to stammer. One person (Sister Ana - she's dead now - and probably took a lot of secrets with her) sat quietly and looked at the table. Then another person said "What about...." and then a name was mentioned."I decided to call it quits right then and there. I didn't want to hear any more. I walked out of the meeting and never went back. I was done.
Nevertheless, in 2010 Mrs. Casteix was able to find victims abused by the clergy regardless of whether Rohr read the letter or not.
Two days later on September 15, 2015, Tim Rohr corrected his own statement along with statements made by SNAP . It was SNAP that he was supposedly told to discredit. According to Tim Rohr (the bold is mine):
Technically it was a committee. The archbishop wasn't at the meeting. And I was not urged to "discredit an abuse victim" (since none came forward), I was urged to discredit SNAP and the bill introduced by Senator Cruz to lift the statute of limitations on sex crimes against minors.Today, Tim Rohr claimed that the Archdiocese tried to get him to discredit SNAP and the bill introduced by Senator Cruz, and he even claimed to walk away from it. However, one month later, Tim DID discredited SNAP and the bill introduced by Senator Cruz when he wrote to the Pacific Daily News. On May 12, 2010 Tim Rohr discredited SNAP and the bills introduced by Senator BJ Cruz in The Pacific Daily News:
Bills Could Cripple Church in GuamToday, Tim Rohr claimed that the only reason he opposed Bills 334 and 372, which would lift the statutes of limitation, was because it was introduced as "revenge" against the Church by BJ Cruz. However, the May 12, 2010 letter written by Rohr himself showed exactly the reasons he opposed the proposed legislation. According to Rohr in his own words: "Should Bills 334 and 372 pass into law, and should moral entrepreneurs like SNAP, working in concert with local lawmakers hostile to the Church, get their way, the Church on Guam, even if it is innocent, may be forced (as per stateside precedent) to cough up millions of dollars to defend itself."
By Tim Rohr
May 12, 2010
Let's be clear. We Catholics in the pews have no interest in defending clerical wrongdoing nor any attempt to hide it. We have been hit from both sides by the news of scandal among our clergy.
First, we are hurt by the news that any child would feel when a child hears bad news about one's own parent. Second, we are hurt by the slander hurled at the Church we consider to be our Mother.
It's difficult to know how to respond. We want to see the wrongs in our Church righted. Most of us are extremely saddened by news of these affairs, but we are also offended by the vicious self-righteousness of outsiders.
We will deal with it and move on, but in the meanwhile, there are some possible consequences all the people of Guam, not just Catholics, need to consider.
Should Bills 334 and 372 pass into law, and should moral entrepreneurs like SNAP, working in concert with local lawmakers hostile to the Church, get their way, the Church on Guam, even if it is innocent, may be forced (as per stateside precedent) to cough up millions of dollars to defend itself. The Archdiocese of Agana does not have millions of dollars, and even with insurance payments, could be forced to sell its properties, as several stateside dioceses have had to do.
The Boston Archdiocese, for example, was forced to close more than 65 churches and sell many other properties to pay for the settlements levied upon it in 2003. Should SNAP and Vice Speaker Benjamin Cruz prevail, a few may benefit from punishing the Church, but almost all will pay. Here's why.
Currently, archdiocesan agencies are feeding, clothing and housing hundreds of homeless, helpless and aged. Catholic schools are educating 5,000 students per year at a saving to the taxpayer of $6,000 per student. Many hundreds of people are employed within the archdiocese and their paychecks represent income tax revenue to GovGuam. Lay members of the Church also provide countless volunteer hours of charitable works through its many organizations.
Should the Church become crippled by lawsuits and forced to begin shutting down its services and schools, GovGuam would need to pick up the tab.
But any negative reaction to these fiscal consequences will probably pale in comparison to what will happen once "Catholics in the pew" realize that their village church, and perhaps their alma mater, will have to be sold to pay for the costs inflicted upon the Church by the likes of SNAP as a result of Cruz's legislation.
Those churches and schools were built at great personal cost and sacrifice to the people in the pews and their ancestors. They are not likely to give them up without a fight -- a big one.
This is not alarm-ism. This is not exaggeration. This is a pattern. Moral entrepreneurs like SNAP, under the guise of protecting children, attack a diocese with allegations knowing that, even if they are unfounded, the seriousness of the allegations will precipitate a "hanging before the trial." Lawmakers cave to the manufactured moral panic and pass legislation to lift the statute of limitations. Decades-old cases are resurrected. Lawsuits follow, churches and schools are forced to close and services are curtailed.
I am all for exposing the wrongdoing in the Church. I experienced clerical sexual "abuse" as a teenager in Los Angeles. ("Abuse" is in quotes because I didn't stick around for the molestation part. I ran.)
Where there is wrongdoing in our Church, let's have it out. And let's not stop there.
The abuse of children is criminal wherever it occurs. Guam Child Protective Services reports an average of 250 child sex abuse cases per year, and experts tell us that the figure probably represents only 10 percent of the actual cases. Guess where most of that abuse occurs.
Today, the Junglewatch Nation and SNAP are working together.