Hagatna, Guam, Oct 26, 2017 / 05:01 am
The Archdiocese of Agaña last week adopted a new policy on child protection, following a child sex abuse scandal which has implicated the former archbishop and other clerics.
The recently-installed Coadjutor Archbishop of Agaña, Michael Byrnes, adopted the children protection policy Oct. 18, along with a safe environment program and a policy for an independent review board.
These policies "will help to instigate a change of culture in our Archdiocese," Byrnes wrote. "We must now exercise the will, the effort, and the expense to implement completely the provisions set forth. Safe environments for our children must become a reality in our midst."
Archbishop Byrnes was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Agaña in October 2016 to replace Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who had been relieved of his pastoral and administrative authority in June 2016 after allegations surfaced that he had sexually abused minors. The Archdiocese of Agaña serves Catholics in Guam, a U.S. island territory in the northwestern Pacific Ocean.