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Pacific News Minute: Archbishop of Guam Temporarily Removed after Allegations of Abuse

Archdiocesean Photo
Archdiocesean Photo

After allegations of sexual abuse, the Vatican has appointed an Apostolic Administrator to take over the duties of the Archbishop of Guam while an investigation proceeds.  We have more from Neal Conan, in the Pacific News Minute.

As in other cases of alleged abuse by priests, a cascade of charges emerged after one story broke a long silence. In May, a former altar boy named Roy Quintanilla issued a statement saying that he'd been molested by his parish priest in the 1970s, Anthony Apuron, now seventy years old and the Archbishop of Agana.  A couple of weeks later, Doris Concepcion told the Pacific Daily News that Father Apuron abused her son, Joseph Quinata, when he was an altar boy at Mount Carmel Church in Agat in the late 1970s, a secret her son revealed shortly before his death 11 years ago.  Now, in a statement on the newspaper's website, 52 year old Walter Denton charges that Father Apuron raped him when he was a thirteen year old altar boy in 1977. "I asked him why he did that to me," Denton said, "I kept asking him why. He said if I said anything to anyone, no one would believe me."

The Archbishop denies all charges. A statement from the archdiocese threatened legal measures and 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."

A spokesman for SNAP, the national support group for victims of clergy abuse, welcomed the Vatican's decision to remove the Archbishop as a good first step.

Over 36 years with National Public Radio, Neal Conan worked as a correspondent based in New York, Washington, and London; covered wars in the Middle East and Northern Ireland; Olympic Games in Lake Placid and Sarajevo; and a presidential impeachment. He served, at various times, as editor, producer, and executive producer of All Things Considered and may be best known as the long-time host of Talk of the Nation. Now a macadamia nut farmer on Hawaiʻi Island, his "Pacific News Minute" can be heard on HPR Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
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