Father Adrian Cristobal, former chancellor of the Archdiocese of Agana, will be stripped of his role as a priest should the Vatican reject his appeal.
Archbishop Michael Byrnes on Friday announced he has decided "to laicize" Cristobal following an administrative penal process.
"The Archdiocese of Agaña is now in a waiting period following an appeal filed with the Vatican by the priest," the archdiocese in a written statement Friday. "Laicization is not in effect while the Vatican’s ruling on the appeal is pending."
After consulting with Rome, the archdiocese initiated an administrative penal process last year against Cristobal, who once was a close senior aide to former Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron. The former chancellor of the archdiocese has been named in four lawsuits accusing him of sexual abuse of children.
A Vatican tribunal has convicted Apuron after the former archbishop was accused of sexual abuse of children when he was a Guam priest. Apuron's whereabouts are not publicly known and he is forbidden from returning to the Guam archdiocese.
Cristobal has also remained off island despite the archdiocese's directives in 2018 for him to return to Guam.
In 2018, Archbishop Byrnes placed restrictions on Cristobal, limiting his duties as a priest. Cristobal cannot celebrate Mass publicly or hear confession nor is he allowed to wear the usual garb which identifies one as a clergyman, including the white priest’s collar.
While the appeal process is open, the archdiocese is unable to comment further on the matter, according to the statement released by Tony C. Diaz, director of communications for the archdiocese.
The archdiocese cut off Cristobal's pay and honorarium last year.
(Daily Post Staff)