Islanders comment on sexual abuse by clergy - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Islanders comment on sexual abuse by clergy

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by Lannie Walker

Guam - The story of priests accused of sexual abuse is one that's made national headlines.  And now, the issue is now hitting closer to home.  

Allegations of sexual abuse by priests on Guam are yet to be addressed by Archbishop Anthony Apuron, but The Vatican may soon outline the process of how priests are removed from the clergy.  In a statement released today by the president of the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests Barbara Blaine, she writes, "Vatican officials are reportedly posting an online guide to its long-secret, convoluted policy about defrocking priests." 

"Well," said one island resident, "I think it's a problem the church is dealing with now.  I'm glad to see it is dealing with it - it's been a problem for hundreds of years; it's just so easy to shove it aside."

But the Catholic Church may be shoving aside a greater issue, according to Blaine, who calls the move by The Vatican progress, but says, "There always have been and will be predator priests. Their crimes will continue to be concealed, however, until reckless, callous and deceitful church employees are severely disciplined. Unfortunately, no one in the Catholic hierarchy is even talking about, much less doing anything about, this larger, tougher problem."

SNAP has named Capuchin friar Randy Nowak as allegedly involved in sexual abuse in New York prior to coming Guam, and most recently questioning the past of Father Raymond Cepeda, which they questioned why he was allegedly defrocked.  A resident said, "I heard it, but I don't want to listen to it...it's best that we just pray for our priest because I am pretty sure whatever happened way back, I'm pretty sure our priest here will be alright."

As the public waits for a response from the Archdiocese, Guam residents continue to speak out.

A local deacon, who wished to remain anonymous, told KUAM News it is unfair the entire church is condemned because of the acts of one or two.

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