Vocal Church critic Tim Rohr talks clergy sex abuse
The Rotary Club of Guam today invited a guest speaker to talk about his criticism of clergy abuse on Guam.
"You don't leave Jesus for Judas." This was Tim Rohr's message to both critics of the Catholic Church, as well as those who may be losing their faith in light of the sexual abuse cases that have been filed against the Archdiocese of Hagatna.
Rohr has been a watchdog of the Archdiocese of Agana's numerous issues from mismanagement to sexual abuse on his blog Jungle Watch. Throughout the years he has managed to gain the attention of the community due to the millions of views that his blog has garnered.
When asked what the members of the Church can do about mitigating future cases he stressed bringing the focus back to the family unit.
"All the institutions, schools churches, everything have proven we can't trust them and that's kind of a good thing because that puts everything back to the family, where it's supposed to be in the first place. That's God's design," Rhor said. "That's the only way we're going to be able to save our children from the whole horrors that we're seeing is for parents to start being parents again. Now when that'll happen I don't know, we're two generations removed now from responsible parenthood, you know, where we depend on the government or the church or whatever."
Rohr says he believes things will actually get worse moving forward. He claims that most of the priests on island knew what was going on but remained silent. However, Rohr is disappointed that after the scandal was brought to light he pointed out that there was no public apology.
"Nobody has said, 'look, I did know about this and I didn't do anything, I was afraid...' whatever," he said. "But nobody said a thing. Everything is quiet like it never happened. We're just going on, we're planning the next fiesta."
Walter Denton, a victim of former Archbishop Anthony Apuron, was a guest today at the luncheon. He explains what finally gave him the courage to follow through with what had been bottled up inside him for more than a decade.
"How I came out, for years I carried this burden with me and I've been wanting to come out for a long time," Denton told KUAM News. "What inspired me to come out was a family member was in a discussion at a funeral... and when I heard one of my family members say that I was sexually abused by Apuron. I turned around and I looked at him and I said, are you serious? And I said, me too."
Eventually, Denton wrote a letter directly to the Vatican and now he continues to share his ordeal in the hopes that he can encourage anyone else there who may be a victim to report the crimes being committed to them. We asked him if he had a message to anyone who may be an abuser.
"You will get caught. You will get caught," Denton said.
Be on the lookout for the podcast on our KUAM Podcast Network with both Rorh and Denton who will be sharing their full story with us.