The Vatican acknowledges abuse in Guam, and Arizona man rejoices: ‘They believed’ us

The Republic |

March 20, 2018

By Jerod MacDonald-Evoy

Walter Denton lives in Casa Grande, half a world away from the Pacific island of Guam, where he grew up in the 1970s.

Despite all the distance and all the years passed, Denton holds close his memories of one night of terror in a church rectory.

He was an altar boy, and he was raped when he was 13, he told church authorities years later.

Denton accused Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron, then a parish priest, of the sexual abuse. It was just one of many accusations against the clergyman.

On Friday, a specially appointed Vatican tribunal in Rome announced that Apuron was “guilty of certain accusations” related to the sexual abuse of minors, stripping the 72-year-old of his position and prohibiting him from returning to Guam, a U.S. territory.

The Vatican did not address the number of potential victims, but dozens of lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of minors have been filed against Apuron and other clergy in Guam.

Apuron said he intends to appeal the church’s ruling.

Denton said he learned of the tribunal ruling Friday morning through a text message from a friend.

His friend just sent him a story link, and Denton instantly had a feeling he knew what it was.

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