A tribunal from the Vatican has conducted the Guam part of its multi-jurisdiction investigation into allegations of sexual abuse against Archbishop Anthony Apuron, but officials are "reaching out" to two of the former Guam Catholic leader's accusers from the island.
"There’s still a potential for the others to testify at the canonical trial," attorney David Lujan told The Guam Daily Post.
In February, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, the judge of the tribunal, and other participants of the Vatican justice system came to Guam to investigate allegations of sex abuse filed against the suspended archbishop.
The tribunal’s visit was part of the canonical trial for Apuron, who faces penal charges in connection with allegations that he sexually abused altar boys decades ago when he was a priest.
During the visit, Lujan objected to his clients’ participation in the depositions as he was not allowed to be present and he wasn't clear on the canonical trial procedures and rules and whether his clients' interests would be protected.
The attorney confirmed on Monday that his clients, Roland Sondia and Roy Quintanilla, may testify before the tribunal in the next few weeks.
"The question is when and where and certain accommodations must be met," Lujan said as he is still insisting that he be present with his clients during the questioning.
"They’ve compromised in some ways. They’re willing to compromise," he said.
Discussions are now under way for Sondia and Quintanilla to provide testimony in the next few weeks somewhere in the U.S. mainland, the attorney confirmed.
The "compromise" comes after two of Lujan’s clients, Walter Denton and Doris Concepcion, on behalf of her late son, Joseph "Sonny" Quinata, met with the tribunal last month in Prescott, Arizona, to provide testimony on the allegations against Apuron.
"Walter wanted to testify regardless. He was willing to testify by himself," Lujan said. "Doris thought she may not survive and she wanted to make sure her son’s story was told."
Lujan explained Concepcion had fallen ill at a hospital in Arizona last month and was on her "death bed" and was asked if she had any dying wishes when the priest administered her last rites.
He said Concepcion was allowed, by her doctor, to leave the hospital for two hours to testify at the Sacred Heart Church rectory and share her late son’s story of abuse at the hands of Apuron.
"My clients have always wanted to testify. It’s just that Rome wanted it their way," Lujan said.