One of archbishop's accusers will meet with Vatican investigator - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

One of archbishop's accusers will meet with Vatican investigators

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While there's been speculation about the ongoing canonical trial in Rome for accused child molester Archbishop Anthony Apuron, officials confirm investigators from the Vatican are on island to gather evidence.

It was last summer Roland Sondia publicly accused Archbishop Anthony Apuron. At the time, he said, "He put his right arm around my shoulders and pulled me closer and asked, 'Do you want to try me?' Before I could do anything he started rubbing my privates. I loudly asked him 'What are you doing?' I told him to stop, but he didn't." That was a summer night in 1977, when Sondia was an altar boy at Mount Carmel Church in Agat. Come Thursday, he'll have the audience of representatives from the Vatican.

Of the 17 accusers to file suit in the District Court of Guam, four have accused Apuron of sexually molesting them as altar boys resulting in the ongoing canonical trial in Rome. On Thursday, Sondia is anticipated to provide his deposition. He is represented by Attorney David Lujan, who said, "Whoever is going to be there tomorrow, we have no idea who's going to be there. But I believe someone from the church, not the Guam church, but Rome is going to be there, as I understand it, the canon lawyer for Apuron and, of course, my client and me."

Also anticipated to be present are members of the Concerned Catholics of Guam and the Laity Forward Movement who have demanded Apuron be defrocked. "We are going to be up there and we're going to support Mr. Sondia. Seeking justice and we are also wanting the cardinal and others from the Vatican who may be in town to know our disgust with Archbishop Apuron," said CCOG president David Sablan. "We are hoping and seeking a speedy trial for him."

"We want to see this trial sped up so that the hurt and the healing can begin. The hurt is removed and healing can begin for the Catholic faithful here in Guam."

In a press conference last Friday, Guam's coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes confirmed investigators from the Vatican were arriving on island, but provided limited details. He said simply, "They will be there."

Sablan confirms Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke will be the Vatican official meeting with Sondia. According to his website, he was named a cardinal in 2010 and has written and spoken widely on Roman Catholic canon law.

Thursday's meeting is anticipated to start at 10am at the Chancery.

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