SNAP Presents Allegations Of Abuse Committed By Priests Who Served On Guam

By Mana Silva Taijeron
Pacific News Center
March 23, 2010

GUAM -- She's ruffled some feathers within the Catholic Church on Guam, calling on the Archbishop to acknowledge that sexual abuse by Guam Clergymen is very real.

And this week the Southwest Regional Director for the support group SNAP, Joelle Casteix, is on island to conduct meetings with victims, and press the Catholic Church here to offer support to victims of the alleged sexual abuses.

SNAP stands for Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. It's a group established to offer support to victims who seem to have no other recourse.

Casteix says her mission is to empower victims and let them know they are not alone, and to help them heal. She says it is also the church's responsibility to help the victims, but the local church, Castiex says, has refused to acknowledge that these cases even exist.

But Castiex has met with some people who say they have been victims of Guam Priests, and she has brought with her documents to back up the allegations, and she feels by releasing this information more alleged victims will come forward to seek help.

Allegations have also been made against a Capuchin priest who has served on Guam.

Documents she presented included copies of the victims letter to the Capuchin Franciscans, an email letter from Father Randy Nowak, and a letter acknowledgment from the Capuchins, and a copy of a check to pay for counseling services for the victim.

The Pacific News Center attempted to reach father Nowak, however he was not available. We did learn he has retired but continues to reside at the Capuchin Friary.

We also attempted to get a comment from the Archdiocese, however the Public Affairs representative, Deacon Jeff Barcinas is off island and we were infomed he was the only person who could comment on the matter.

Deacon Barcinas is expected back on island Wednesday, and the Archbishop is off island.

The Archbishop in a previous statement said no member of Guam's Clergy have been charged or convicted of sexual abuse.


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