Notary for Vatican Tribunal Quits Amid Allegations
By Mindy Aguon
Guam Daily Post
December 11, 2017
The notary for the Vatican tribunal who came to Guam to investigate child sex abuse allegations against Archbishop Anthony Apuron has resigned from his position at the Vatican's Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faithful.
Rev. Justin Wachs, the notary and recorder for the tribunal, resigned from his Vatican appointed position for "personal and professional reasons," according to a letter from Sioux Falls, South Dakota Bishop Paul Swain's letter to clergy dated Nov. 29.
The information about Wachs' resignation came out after Keloland Media Group uncovered allegations of sexual harassment that had been filed against Wachs by the former secretary of the Sioux Falls Diocese where Wachs had previously served as priest.
The woman alleged Wachs inappropriately touched her and interacted with her in 2014.
According to the Keloland report, Wachs and the diocese tried to save the working relationship and establish professional boundaries between the woman and Wachs, but months later, he resigned from the parish and went on medical leave, Post files state.
In May 2015, Wachs was tasked to serve in Rome at the Vatican with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which deals with "faith and morals."
He was designated as the congregation notary, responsible for taking all of the notes and testimony during the canonical trial proceedings in Apuron's canonical trial.
Apuron is accused of sexually abusing four former altar boys decades ago when he was a priest. He was last seen in California and has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuits.
According to Keloland, Wachs chose on his own initiative to resign and his resignation was accepted by his superiors at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and was effective Sept. 30, 2017.
Co-adjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes confirmed in October that the tribunal had reached a sentence, or final decision, in Apuron's case but was awaiting signatures before it would be disclosed.