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Priest on the run

Posted: Jun 18, 2018 3:38 PM Updated:

Father Adrian Cristobal had until the end of day last Friday to report to the Archdiocese of Agana. The no-show priest now faces sanctions by the Church. But, could also potentially face criminal charges.

Effective Saturday, June 16th, Father Adrian Cristobal is forbidden from acting as a priest in public. No wearing of the clerical garb, no celebrating mass, and no hearing confession. These sanctions were imposed by Archbishop Michael Byrnes who ordered Father Adrian return to Guam in light of three clergy sexual abuse lawsuits filed against him.

The former Chancellor had until the end of Friday to report to the Archdiocese of Agana. His last confirmed location was the Diocese of Phoenix, where he was reportedly studying canon law. The Concerned Catholics of Guam speculate the priest could be in hiding in the east coast.

CCOG President Dave Sablan told KUAM News, "I think Adrian is in New York somewhere or Newark, New Jersey, which is basically the headquarters for the Neocatechumenal Way." Sablan added, "We expected it. He is now a fugitive on the run."

Since April, three former Barrigada altar boys have filed civil suits against Father Adrian. Only identified by their initials to protect their privacy, L.J.C., J.C.C., and J.E. all report being sexually molested by the priest in the 1990s. J.C.C., however, reports the abuse spanned over a 15-year period - occurring almost daily the first few years - and only ending in 2013.

It's this allegation that could land Father Adrian in jail thanks to changes in Guam law.

"I think one of those accusations said it was in the 2013 period or up to the 2013 period. So anytime between 2011 and 2013. I think Father Adrian would be subject to criminal arrest; if he comes back, and I don't know if that's one of the reasons he doesn't want to come back. But, at this point, it's only a civil matter and not quite a criminal issue yet," he stated.

Though it is said Father Adrian has hired an attorney, none have entered their appearance on his behalf in the District Court of Guam.

The Church-imposed sanctions will remain in effect until Father Adrian returns to Guam.

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