Vatican decision undisclosed

TRIBUNAL: A Vatican tribunal arrives at the Archdiocese of Agana on Feb. 16 to receive statements from accusers of suspended Archbishop Anthony Apuron and others. Post file photo

The Vatican tribunal led by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, which came to Guam last week to investigate sex abuse allegations against Archbishop Anthony Apuron, is in Hawaii to hear testimony from former Agat Parish altar boy Roy Quintanilla, according to a document The Guam Daily Post has received.

"As this tribunal has been informed of your readiness to be heard in the above-titled case regarding accusations against His Excellency, the Most Reverend Anthony Sablan Apuron, OFM Cap., at the direction of the Presiding Judge, I am forwarding to you his decree of citation by which you are called for said hearing," Rev. Justin Wachs wrote to Quintanilla.

According to Post files, the tribunal comprises Burke who serves as the presiding judge, Rev. Robert Geisinger who serves as the prosecutor, Rev. James Conn who serves as Apuron's advocate, and Wachs who serves as the tribunal's notary and designated recorder.

Series of meetings

Quintanilla's meeting, which is scheduled for Feb. 20 at 10 a.m. at the Diocesan Chancery of the Diocese of Honolulu in Kaneohe, Hawaii, is the second in a series of meetings scheduled with former Guam altar boys who have accused Apuron of abuse dating back to the 1970s.

Former Guam altar boys Roland Sondia and Walter Denton also received similar decrees from Vatican officials.

When the tribunal was on island last week, Sondia and his attorney, David Lujan, met with Wachs to inform him that Sondia would not meet with the tribunal without the presence of his attorney.

During an impromptu press conference held at the Archdiocese of Agana Chancery last Thursday, Lujan expressed disdain for members of the tribunal, who he said "disrespected" the legal process by contacting his clients directly. Instead of a meeting, Lujan proposed that he would send the tribunal an affidavit from Sondia detailing his testimony. He told media that he had informed Wachs that the tribunal would run into similar objections by his other clients in Hawaii and Arizona.

Burke and Trump

In addition to being considered a conservative among the cardinals of the Vatican, an article published by the New York Times says that Burke is connected to President Donald Trump's top aide, Steve Bannon.

According to the article published in the New York Times on Feb. 7, 2017, Burke and Bannon met in 2014 when Bannon went to the Vatican to cover the canonization of John Paul II as part of his job as the head of Breitbart News. The article went on to say that the two bonded over their shared worldview.

According to Post files, Burke had previously held the post of head of the Vatican-equivalent of the Supreme Court, but that he had been reassigned following the naming of Pope Francis in 2013. Since then, Burke has often found himself at odds with the Pope over his more traditionally conservative views.

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