Guam Abuse Vic­tims Warned Of Catholic Church’s Mo­tives

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An ad­vo­cate for abuse sur­vivors is urg­ing vic­tims to think twice be­fore no­ti­fy­ing Guam’s Catholic Church of abuse. The Church has is­sued a state­ment en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple with knowl­edge of sex­ual abuse by clergy mem­bers to con­tact its abuse re­sponse co-or­di­na­tor.

This is af­ter the pass­ing of a bill lift­ing the statute of lim­i­ta­tions for law­suits against child sex abusers and pri­vate in­sti­tu­tions that may have pro­tected them. Sur­vivors Net­work of those Abused by Priests spokesper­son, Joelle Casteix, said the law would give vic­tims ac­count­abil­ity. But she said they should be wary of the church as it won’t want abuse ex­posed. “Any­time any­one is abused do not call the Church, call law en­force­ment, be­cause the Church will al­ways try to pro­tect them­selves. Call the po­lice, call a sup­port group such as SNAP, call a lawyer. Don’t rely on the Church to do the right thing be­cause they haven’t.”

Joelle Casteix also said the Church would throw a lot of money into fighting abuse cases.

Guam Arch­bishop An­thony Apuron.

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