Archbishop Anthony Apuron faces fresh abuse allegation
Catholic Church officials in Guam say they have notified the Vatican of a new sexual abuse allegation against Archbishop Anthony Apuron.
According to the Archdiocese of Agana, a relative of the homophobic Apuron told local media he was abused by the archbishop in 1990. Apuron already faces multiple allegations of sexual abuse of altar boys in the 1970s.
He has denied those claims and has not been criminally charged.
The allegations against Apuron prompted a Vatican tribunal. Archbishop Michael Byrnes says he was informed by Vatican officials late last year that a verdict has been reached, but it has not yet been released.
The Vatican sent Byrnes to Guam to replace Apuron on an administrative basis.
This latest charge against Apuron follows a request by a prosecutor in Peru for a court order to incarcerate Luis Fernando Figari, above, while he is being investigated for psychological and sexual abuse.
Figari is the founder of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, a religious community of men, and the Marian Community of Reconciliation, a community of women. In 2002, he was named a consultor to the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and served in subsequent consultative roles at the Vatican.
He has been the subject of abuse allegations since 2011, but according to this Spanish report, a Vatican investigation last February concluded that while Figari had committed “gravely sinful acts”, the Holy See could find no evidence of criminal activity. This, despite the fact that a team of independent investigators commissioned by the Sodalitium reported that:
Figari sexually assaulted at least one child, manipulated, sexually abused, or harmed several other young people; and physically or psychologically abused dozens of others.
The investigative team included a former FBI agent, and several experts on sexual abuse. All details of the independent investigation were given to the media and to Peruvian authorities. The report concluded that:
Between 1975 and 2000 and once in 2007, five members of Sodalitium, including Figari, sexually abused minors.
The Peruvian prosecutor requested that other former members of the SCV also be incarcerated during ongoing investigations.
Peruvian law permits judges to remand suspects of criminal activity to incarceration while they are being investigated, if they are considered flight risks, or a risk to pose grave danger. A criminal investigation against the men began in January 2017.
The five members alleged to have committed sexual abuse are Figari, German Doig, who died in 2001, Virgilio Levaggi, Jeffrey Daniels and Daniel Murguía.
Of these five, only Figari remains a member of the Sodalitium. In February 2017, the Vatican’s congregation for religious life issued a decree forbidding him from any contact with the religious community, and banning him from returning to Peru without permission from the current superior of the Sodalitium. Figari was also forbidden to make any public statements.