Guam memorial Mass for bishop set for March 13

MEMORIAL MASS: The Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica is shown in this file photo. The Archdiocese of Agana will celebrate a memorial Mass on March 13 to coincide with the funeral Mass for retired Bishop Tomas Camacho on Saipan. Post file photo

The parties in nearly 100 clergy sex abuse cases filed in the local and federal courts in Guam have until Tuesday afternoon to advise the court how they intend to proceed with mediation and settlement talks.

Many of the attorneys for childhood sex abuse victims, the Archdiocese of Agana, the Boy Scouts of America and other defendants met in Hawaii on Sept. 5 to try to come to an agreement on how to proceed with mediation and a possible global settlement for all of the cases.

The parties had hoped to begin those settlement discussions on Guam at the end of October or early November.

But negotiations are ongoing regarding the terms of the mediation protocol, according to an order handed down last Friday by District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood.

The judge gave the parties until Tuesday to submit a statement to the court.

Tydingco-Gatewood had previously inquired whether the parties would be interested in utilizing Senior Judge Alex Munson for settlement discussions.

During a previous court hearing, it was mentioned that the cost for retired federal judge Michael Hogan, who was approved by the plaintiffs and defendants to act as the mediator, could be as much as $10,000 a day.

Suspended Archbishop Anthony Apuron is the only party in the cases who has not agreed to participate in any mediation discussions. Apuron has filed a motion to dismiss the four lawsuits filed against him by former altar boys – Walter Denton, Roy Quintanilla, Roland Sondia, and Doris Concepcion, on behalf of her late son Joseph “Sonny” Quinata.

Apuron is also awaiting the outcome of a Vatican tribunal regarding claims of sexual abuse when he served as a priest.

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