ARCHDIOCESE Apologizes to Nuns

By John O'Connor
Guam Daily Post
November 17, 2016

On the heels of the relocation of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites from Guam to California, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai the apostolic administrator for the Archdiocese of Agana has issued a statement expressing gratitude and apologizing to members of the sisterhood. Prior to her leaving, The Mother Superior Dawn Marie called for a press conference to explain the reason for the departure.

According to Marie, the decision to relocate came after a series of events that resulted in what she called a "toxic environment" that made it difficult for the nuns to continue in their way of life. Those events, she said, stemmed from the archdiocese's acquisition of the former Hotel Accion property in Yona and the subsequent establishment of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary and the formation of the Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores Theological Institute (BDTI).

Marie revealed that she was the one who was able to secure about $2 million from another Carmelite monastery to purchase the Yona property, but that Archbishop Anthony Apuron violated her trust by asking the sisterhood to lie about the original purpose of the money.

Marie indicated that it was never her or the donor's desire that the property be used specifically for RMS, nor was it their wish that it be used for the establishment of BDTI and that, even as the issue grew in its controversy, she remained silent.

Hon said the archdiocese was saddened by the Carmelite's departure.

"To the beloved Carmelite Sisters, I have to apologize and to admit certain damages of the 'toxic environment' they experienced. In the month of July, eight seminarians were asked by their bishops to return to their dioceses from the RMS. Before their departure, I met them one by one and started to better realize the complexity of the issues which gave rise to the so-called 'toxic environment,'" Hon stated in the release.

"We appreciate the clarification made by Mother Dawn Marie this week regarding the genuine intent of the benefactor, which was unfortunately twisted by some people. The sisters tried hard to tolerate it and to remain silent as much as possible ... However, silence in this case did not suffice, because things were getting worse to a point that the reputation of their community was at stake. I am glad that before her departure this week Mother Dawn Marie was able to reveal the truth in a limpid way."

Another reason for the departure, according to Marie, were the allegations of sexual abuse against Apuron. Marie stated that she did not want her nuns exposed to such statements much longer.

"The allegations of child sex abuse by the clergy contribute somehow to the toxic environment," Hon stated. "In the Church, child sex abuse is a terrible, grave matter. All of us, including the clergy, suffer from such a disheartening environment, but we still have people and prayer."

Several individual have come forward as victims of Apuron and other members of the clergy. Several lawsuits have been filed alleging abuse and complicity by old church leaders.








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