From a culture of silence to cover-ups: How Guam ended up with 280 clergy sex abuse claims

Pacific Daily News

October 27, 2019

By Haidee Eugenio Gilbert

A 9-year-old boy confided in his grandmother on several occasions that the parish priest was sexually abusing him.

The grandmother spanked the boy, identified in court documents only by C.B.D. to protect his privacy. She lectured him that the priest was “God’s representative and not capable of such actions.”

“Unfortunately, due to priests being held to such a high level of respect and stature, it was unheard of them to be capable of committing immoral behavior such as child sexual abuse,” Vincent P. Pereda, a board-certified clinical social worker, said.

The same story is repeated in many clergy sex abuse claims. Pereda said preserving the family’s honor became more important than protecting children.

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