HAGÅTÑA, Guam – The Vatican announced Thursday that is has upheld the conviction of Guam’s former archbishop, Anthony S. Apuron, in a case involving child sexual abuse.
Apuron is permanently banned from returning to the Archdiocese of Agana and is stripped of his rank as bishop, among other things.
Pope Francis placed Apuron on leave in June 2016 after former altar boys and their families accused the archbishop of sexually abusing children in the 1970s when he was a parish priest in the village of Agat. More of his victims came forward later, including Apuron’s nephew in 2018, saying his uncle raped him when he was already an archbishop, in the 1990s.
A Vatican tribunal in March 2018 found Apuron guilty of certain accusations in the case involving multiple allegations of sex abuse of minors, but Apuron appealed the tribunal.
The appeal has been concluded, the Vatican said.
Feb. 20: As Vatican meets on sex abuse, Pope must defrock Guam’s Apuron, groups say
Jan. 15: Guam archdiocese files for bankruptcy to pay off clergy sex abuse claims
The Vatican said Feb. 7, 2019, “the Tribunal of Second Instance upheld the sentence of First Instance finding the Archbishop guilty of delicts against the Sixth Commandment with minors.”
The penalties imposed are as follows: the privation of office; the perpetual prohibition from the dwelling, even temporarily, in the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Agana; and the perpetual prohibition from using the insignia attached to the rank of Bishop.
“This decision represents the definitive conclusion in this case. No further appeals are possible,” the Vatican said.
Follow Haidee Eugenio on Twitter: @haidee_eugenio
Aug. 28: Pope Francis says he’ll personally review, speed up appeal of archbishop accused of child sexual abuse
Aug. 17: Why the Roman Catholic Church still struggles with sexual abuse scandals
March 2018: ‘They believed us’: Victims of Guam clergy abuse react to Vatican verdict
March 2018: Guam archbishop guilty of sexual abuse, exiled from island, Vatican tribunal rules