Joelle Casteix and SNAP (a support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings) are bad for Guam. After doing absolutely nothing to either help expose clergy sex abuse on Guam or to help a single survivor, Casteix and SNAP suddenly want to dictate the terms of our local fight as if we need them. We don’t!
From the outset of the announcement of Apuron’s canonical trial, Casteix has been going nuts trying to discredit everything about it. That’s dangerous. That’s bad for Guam. And here’s why.
The law lifting the statute of limitations can only permit Apuron to be found civilly liable, which means he might have to cough up a few bucks, but that’s it. Other than that, the civil system cannot touch Apuron. It cannot find him guilty. It cannot send him to jail. It cannot remove him as Archbishop of Agana. Apuron doesn’t even have to appear in court.
Even if Apuron is found liable, he can still claim innocence, simply because a civil trial cannot find him innocent or guilty. The only court in the world that can do that is the Church’s court. And that’s what Casteix and SNAP continue to impugn and destroy.
So what do they think is going to happen if there is no canonical trial? Apuron will go free and the only people who will be hurt are the people Apuron has already hurt: us! At least with a canonical trial there is still the chance that Apuron could be found guilty, and if nothing else, at least removed as archbishop of Agana.
We are well aware of the corruption in Rome. We are well aware of the good ol’ boy network among bishops who have each other’s back. And we are even more aware of Apuron’s deep ties to the power brokers within the Neocatechumenal Way who, we can be sure, are working viciously to exonerate the only bishop stupid enough to become one of them.
But we are also aware that this is Anthony S. Apuron, a man who acts like a pompous feudal lord and treats the rest of humanity as vassals. We are aware of how much he is scoffed at and ridiculed by his fellow bishops. Apuron is both an embarrassment to that good ol’ boy bishop network and a laughingstock.
They snicker at his story about how he is on the run because Chinese interests have partnered with me and the CCOG to run him out of Guam so they can turn Guam into a casino. Serious, people! That’s his story!
And we are very aware that both not only has Apuron been asked by the Holy See to resign twice! But that two archbishops now, Archbishop Hon and Archbishop Byrnes, both appointed personally by Pope Francis, have declared Apuron a “disaster!”
So what is Casteix and SNAP’s desperate interest in all this? From whence comes their gluttonous lust for attention in our affairs?
Casteix and SNAP are on their last legs. They were never more than a sham organization to begin with anyway, pretending to assist victims of sex abuse while collecting megabucks under the guise of “donations” from the very attorneys to whom they fed their survivors — at least this is what a fired former SNAP employee alleged. (The details of the lawsuit that is now mounting against them can be found online.)
In short, our struggle in Guam is leech-blood to their dying organization. Never before has a bishop been put on trial in a church court, at least certainly not in modern times. There has been mention of a Polish bishop who underwent a trial. But he died before it could be concluded.
No, Apuron is the first. And it was the Catholics of Guam who beat the streets, who pounded the pavement, who quietly and prayerfully, week after week sent notice to Rome: Apuron out! Apuron out! Apuron out!
And now Casteix and SNAP, to serve their desperately dying organization, are trying to ride the backs of the people who really made this happen.