by Mindy Aguon
Guam - The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) have called on the Guam Catholic Church to embrace the letter and spirit of two new laws to keep kids safe from child predators.
The organization have urged Archbishop Anthony Apuron to make public the names of all credibly accused priests who work or have worked on Guam, turn over secret documents that outline abuse allegations and any actions taken by church officials and make public all information about abuse on Guam disclosed to officials in other dioceses.
The two recently passed bills remove the statute of limitations for victims of sexual abuse and provides additional time for others to come forward and seek justice.
Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, OFM Cap, D.D.
Archdiocese of Agana, Guam
196 B Cuesta San Ramon
Hagatna, GUAM 96910
March 23, 2011
Via Email and Fax
As victims of childhood sexual abuse by clergy, employees and volunteers, we were overjoyed to learn about the passage of Senate Bills 33 and 34 which removed the statute of limitations for child sex crimes and opened a two-year window for older victims to seek justice, no matter when their abuse occurred.
We were also grossly disappointed to learn that you used valuable resources to fight the civil window - resources that could be better used exposing predators, releasing documents and keeping kids safe. Fortunately, there are things you can do RIGHT NOW that can help victims begin the healing process, help law enforcement prosecute criminals and most importantly, keep kids safe.
That is why we are asking that you:
-- make public on the diocese website and in the media the names of all credibly accused priests who work or have worked on Guam,
-- turn over secret documents that outline abuse allegations and actions taken (if any) by church officials, and
-- make public all information about abuse on Guam disclosed to officials in other dioceses.
If these requests seem familiar, that is because they are. We asked you these same things last year, after we discovered at least one predator living on island, found out another was being quietly laicized, and publicized a third former Guam cleric who was arrested for child molestation in Hawaii. We fear there are more.
The time for hiding perpetrators and valuable evidence has ended. Guam's lawmakers, like other lawmakers around the country, understand that your first priority should be transparency. No child should be sacrificed in order to protect a perpetrator, ever
We look forward to your immediate response.
SNAP Western Regional Director
SNAP Outreach Director
SNAP National Director