Pre-Mediation Hearing Held for Clergy Sex Abuse Cases
The status of nearly 200 clergy sex abuse cases that are currently in local and federal courts was recently addressed in a joint court hearing. Those involved continue mediation attempts to address the cases against the Archdiocese of Agana and other defendants.
The hearing allowed those involved in the mediations to provide a status update and presentation of information to the US District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood and Superior Court of Guam Judge Michael Bordallo regarding the interviews with plaintiffs.
The church faces abuse allegations throughout Guam and around the globe. Meanwhile, Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes is calling on Catholics to be “relentless in prayer for those who have suffered the unimaginable agony of sexual abuse and violence. Byrnes also called on Catholics to pray for the perpetrators.
There have been more than 170 clergy sex abuse cases filed in local and federal court systems since 2016. The cases name priests, clergy, various archdiocese, and organizations associated with the church, including the Boy Scouts of America. One such case named former Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron. Apuron was convicted by a Vatican tribunal in March for six different allegations of child sex abuse.
Byrnes believes that prayer will be one of the primary tools for helping the church survive the allegations. He shared in his Year of Reparation message at the end of 2017, "As we struggle with demoralizing realities in our island such as domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse, financial difficulties, divorce, broken families, and polarized factions, open your hearts in humility to our Lord. He alone gives true peace. ”