Pope Francis has named Michael Jude Byrnes the new archbishop of Agaña, the capital of the island of Guam, after the previous incumbent, Anthony Sablan Apuron, has been convicted and expelled for sexual abuse of minors.
The Holy See reported today that the pontiff has already replaced the head of the diocese of this Pacific island, unincorporated territory of the United States.
And he has appointed Monsignor Jude Byrnes, who was already coadjutor at the head of the archdiocese since Sablan Apuron had to face his trial, although he still held the title of archbishop.
On Thursday it was learned that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Vatican had definitively expelled Sablan Apuron from sexual abuse of minors, thus revalidating the sentence in the first instance of March 2018, appealed by the accused.
The penalties imposed are the exclusion from office, the perpetual prohibition of living in the archdiocese of Agaña and the prohibition to use the insignia of a bishop.
The case arrived at the Vatican court on October 5, 2016 and one of its members, the American Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, traveled in early 2017 to this small island in the Pacific to take testimony to the accused and the alleged victims.
Apuron, now 73, has been accused by three men of having sexually abused them when they were altar boys in the 70s, and also the mother of a fourth victim, who has already died, accuses the archbishop of these charges .
The defendant has always rejected these accusations.