Archbishop: Vatican decision closure to a ‘sorrowful shame’

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — The archbishop of Guam, Michael Byrnes, says the Vatican’s decision to uphold its conviction of the U.S. territory’s ousted Archbishop Anthony Apuron for sexually abusing minors marks a sorrowful chapter in church history.

At a news conference in Guam on Friday, Byrnes said: “The church does not rejoice when members of the church plummet from grace and are found guilty of grave wrong. In this case, egregious sin of child abuse. It’s a deep and sorrowful shame.”

While the Vatican exiled Apuron from the Pacific island and barred him from presenting himself as a bishop, it stopped short of defrocking him.

The Vatican announced the decision Thursday. It cannot be appealed.

Victims and their advocates denounced the sentence as inadequate. The ousted bishop continues to maintain his innocence.

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