Archbishop: Vatican decision closure to a 'sorrowful shame'


HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — The Vatican’s decision to uphold its conviction of the U.S. territory’s ousted Archbishop Anthony Apuron for sexually abusing minors marks a sorrowful chapter in church history, the current archbishop of Guam, Michael Byrnes, said.

“The church does not rejoice when members of the church plummet from grace and are found guilty of grave wrong. In this case, egregious sin of child abuse. It’s a deep and sorrowful shame,” Byrnes said at a news conference in Guam on Friday.

While the Vatican exiled Apuron from the Pacific island and barred him from presenting himself as a bishop, it stopped short of defrocking him. The Vatican announced the decision Thursday. It cannot be appealed.

“As a church, what we can do in all cases of this kind is to forthrightly acknowledge sin to mete out penance and punishment of the sinner for his own salvation,” Byrnes said. “On our part, we’ll do everything in our power to ensure that this horrible harm inflicted to the innocent is never repeated.

“I extend our deepest apologies to the local men and their families who suffered irreparable harm by Anthony Apuron in the past.”

Major Clothing Brand to Donate $250K to Org That Wants to Transition Kids Without Parent's Permission

Byrnes apologized to the victims and their families.

“I will pray for my brother, Anthony, too, as I do for his victims. With humility, I ask for the faithful to also assist Bishop Apuron in prayer and penance, that he may find grace in repentance and mercy for his soul.”

Victims and their advocates denounced the sentence as inadequate. The ousted bishop continues to maintain his innocence.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City