Archbishop Michael Byrnes has issued his decision to “laicize” Father Adrian Cristobal following an administrative penal process. The Archdiocese of Agaña is now in a waiting period following an appeal filed with the Vatican by the priest.
After consulting with Rome, the archdiocese initiated an administrative penal process last year against Father Cristobal. The former Chancellor of the archdiocese has been named in four lawsuits accusing him of sexual abuse of children. He has also remained off-island despite directives in 2018 to return home.
The penal process was completed last August. Archbishop Byrnes forwarded his decision to laicize Father Cristobal to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at that time.
In 2018, Archbishop Byrnes placed restrictions on Father Cristobal, limiting his faculties as a priest. He cannot celebrate Mass publicly or hear confession nor is he allowed to wear the usual garb which identifies one as a clergyman, including the white priest’s collar.
While the appeal process is open, the archdiocese is unable to comment further on the matter. (Archdiocese of Agana press release)