Father Edivaldo Oliveira issued a statement denouncing the ad, calling it a malicious intent to destroy the Catholic faith.
Guam – An ad paid for by the Concerned Catholics of Guam is stirring up some controversy as it calls on victims of sexual abuse to come forward. The targeted dates and locations, according to Catholic blogger Tim Rohr, are directly related to when Archbishop Anthony Apuron was a priest.
The paid advertisement starts off by asking “Were you sexually abused? Molested?” In the background is the image of an altar boy with his back facing the camera. It then lists dates and locations as to when and where victims may have been sexually abused. Local Catholic blogger Tim Rohr says he didn’t pay for the ad, but he is working with the people behind it.
“The dates and the locations are specifically targeted as to when the now Archbishop Apuron, when he was serving as a priest and pastor–was in that capacity in those dates and locations,” explains Rohr.
Rohr says this advertisement came as the result of an interview K57 host Patti Arroyo had with a guest on her show. The guest, Mae Ada, had claimed that she was at a funeral service when someone had mentioned to her that he was molested by Archbishop Anthony Apuron as a child.
“Since then we’ve had a pretty regular stream of information,” notes Rohr. “There has been a pretty regular flow of information and contact. I won’t say with how many but more than one–people who have identified themselves as having been sexually molested.”
PNC: “These victims, they claim that it was the archbishop who molested them?”
“I’m probably not gonna go there just yet,” Rohr says.
This is not the first time such allegations have come forward against the archbishop. In late 2014, John Toves came forward with allegations that his cousin was sexually molested by Archbishop Apuron back in the 1980s when Apuron was a rector. Toves’ cousin has never been named. But Rohr says the recent allegations have nothing to do with Toves’ relative. These are different victims, Rohr says.
“The people that I’m working with have interviewed at least one victim and the amount of suffering that that person has gone through has motivated them to help make this person whole. How that’s gonna happen, I don’t know. If there’s a lawsuit, if there’s a financial thing that’s involved to repair this person. I know that from the one person that I, one of the people that I’ve talked to, he is not interested in anything monetary. He’s just interested in justice,” says Rohr.
In response, Father Edivaldo Oliveira sent an email to PNC stating that the Archdiocese of Agana will be issuing a statement. Father Edivaldo also said in his email “these privately paid for advertisements are not only a disgraceful attack on the Shepherd of the Archdiocese, but it is an attack on the Catholic Church with the malicious intent to destroy the Catholic faith.”
PNC contacted Dee Reyes Peredo, whose number was listed on the ad. Peredo says she has not yet received any calls from any potential victims as of news time.