HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, the temporary administrator appointed to Guam by the Vatican in early June, is disavowing the church from statements made by his predecessor, who is facing sexual abuse allegations.
In a news conference in Guam on Wednesday, Hon said former Archbishop Anthony Apuron's prior statements were not consistent the way the church approaches allegations of abuse. He said he recants and retracts all of Apuron's statements.
Apuron had strongly denied the accusations.
"As I mentioned previously, I take all reports of sexual misconduct by officials of the Church very seriously and I have not, do not, and will not consider a person presenting such reports as malicious or calumnious, or motivated by a desire to attack the church or any other improper purpose. Instead, the Archdiocese should always assume and believe that the intent of those who make allegations of sexual abuse is to bring to light serious claims of abuse," Hon said at a news conference.
"I also pledge to do all in my power to ensure a safe environment in the church for all," he said.
Three former altar boys and the mother of another have named Apuron in a $2 million lawsuit. Additional names were added in a revised lawsuit, which includes the church official Pope Francis recently appointed to take over the archdiocese after abuse allegations against Apuron resurfaced.
Apuron hasn't been charged with any crime.
This story corrects the spelling of Archbishop Anthony Apuron's name.