The Archdiocese of Agaña will no longer remit a monthly honorarium to former Archbishop Anthony Apuron.
The decision by Archbishop Michael Byrnes will become effective Wednesday, July 1.
Bishop Apuron was found guilty of sexual abuse of minors by the Vatican’s Apostolic Tribunal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith two years ago.
Bishop Apuron had appealed the initial finding in 2018 but the Vatican announced on April 4 of 2019 that the Tribunal had “upheld the sentence of First Instance finding the Archbishop guilty of delicts against the Sixth Commandment with minors.”
With the removal of office, the Archdiocese still remitted a monthly honorarium of $1,500 to former Archbishop Apuron, even during this time of bankruptcy.
“The monthly honorarium has been, to say the least, very difficult for the victim survivors of sexual abuse to comprehend,” Father Ron Richards, Episcopal Vicar of the Archdiocese of Agaña said in a letter to Bishop Apuron last week. “The victim survivors see this honorarium, to a credibly accused violator of delicts against the Sixth Commandment, as contrary to justice and a continuation of the abuse they suffered at the hands of the clergy.”
“Archbishop Byrnes has heard from more of the victim survivors,” said Father Ron. “Recognizing the pain these survivors have experienced from the sexual abuse in the past, he sees the continuation of remitting this honorarium as a further deepening of the wounds they are trying to heal from.”
Archbishop Byrnes remains on extended leave off-island after undergoing hip surgery earlier this month.