While Archbishop Anthony Apuron has been implicated in civil suits filed by victims of alleged sexual abuse, it appears the Superior Court of Guam has been unable to actually serve him the summons to defend against the complaints.
According to documents provided to the Post, when a process server attempted to provide the summons to Apuron at his last known residence – the Episcopal Residence – he was simply met with a sign that stated Apuron vacated the premises. Documents stated that the archbishop was unable to be located and has not been served.
James Brooks, senior paralegal at Law Guam, told the Post that attorney David Lujan "will file a motion with (the) Superior Court for authorization to serve Apuron by publication."
Meanwhile, Rev. Jeffrey San Nicolas was able to accept service for the Archdiocese of Agana, which is implicated in civil suits filed by Roland Sondia, Walter Denton, Roy Quintanilla and Leo Tudela – all victims of alleged sexual abuse. Three of the men have named Apuron specifically but all four are represented by Lujan, who has indicated that additional suits from other victims will be coming in the following weeks.
Bishop Michael Byrnes has been appointed coadjutor archbishop of Agana. He will lead the archdiocese in the absence of Apuron, who in June was relieved by the Vatican of his pastoral and administrative authority. While Apuron's exact location is unknown, his last public statement said he remained on retreat while working with Vatican authorities to establish his innocence. A canonical trial is being prepared for Apuron.