Anti-gay Catholic cleric faces lawsuit over abuse in Guam
A while back, Anthony Sablan Apuron, above, then Catholic Archbishop of Guam warned that the introduction of marriage equality to the South Pacifiic island that belongs to America would ‘destroy the basic fabric of society’ and put Guam on the ‘road to a totalitarian system’.
Apuron and Guam’s Catholic archdiocese are now embroiled in a $2-million lawsuit that alleges that Apuron abused boys in 1970s.
According to this report, three former altar boys and the mother of another filed the libel and slander lawsuit, saying they were called liars when they accused Apuron of sexual abuse.
The lawsuit appears to have forced a 95-year-old Catholic priest – the Rev Louis Brouillard – into the open. After he was identified as an abuser during a hearing this week in the Guam Legislature, he stepped forward to confess abusing boys on Guam. He said he had confessed his sins to other priests on the island at the time but none told him to specifically stop.
Instead, the other priests told him to “do better” along with regular penance, such as saying Hail Mary prayers.
Brouillard served in Guam from the 1940s through the 1970s, teaching at San Vicente and Father Duenas Memorial schools while he was a priest. He said he molested “a couple of boys” during that time.
However, when pressed on how many boys he might have abused, Brouillard said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press today:
I have no idea. Maybe 20. At that time, when I was that age, I got the impression that kids liked it, so I went ahead. But now of course, I know it’s wrong and I’m paying for it.
Leo B Tudela, 73, testified about what he said was abuse by Brouillard in the mid-1950s during the Guam Legislature hearing. Tudela urged senators to support legislation that would lift the statute of limitations for lawsuits against those who sexually abused children.
Brouillard said he didn’t remember Tudela.
Meanwhile, Apuron has denied the abuse and not been charged with any crime.
After the allegations against Brouillard were first reported by the Pacific Daily News this week, Hon released a statement:
With the news that Father Louis Brouillard, a priest who served on Guam confessed to having abused altar boys on Guam in the 1950s, I convey my deepest apologies and that of the entire church to Mr Leo Tudela and all other persons who were also victimised.
Brouillard said he hasn’t been defrocked, and lives in Pine City, Minnesota, on a small pension from the church in Guam. He said he has volunteered with the local Meals on Wheels programme for 30 years as atonement.
He said he never sought to silence his victims, and he offers daily prayers to the boys he molested.
I regret with all my heart that I did anything wrong to them,. I am praying for the boys and hope that they can forgive me and that God can.