New bishop seeks healing after sex scandal
Guam’s new Catholic archbishop acknowledged yesterday that “shocking” child sex allegations had damaged the church’s standing in the Pacific territory, saying he wanted to promote healing. Archbishop Michael Byrnes arrived in Guam and immediately set about meeting clerics to outline his plans in the wake of the scandal that has rocked the deeply religious island. Mr Byrnes’ predecessor, Archbishop Anthony Apuron, stands accused of molesting altar boys in the 1970s and is facing a canonical trial in Rome. Mr Byrnes said he understood there were strong feelings among Guam’s faithful towards Apuron, who has denied any wrongdoing. “That’s understandable when something as shocking as those type of allegations come out,” he said.