19 Apr 2010

Abuse victim in Guam backs need for greater transparency in Catholic church

11:38 am on 19 April 2010

A sexual abuse victim and theologian in Guam, John Diaz, says the island needs greater transparency about any abuse of children by Catholic priests.

His comments come as the legislature prepares to consider a bill that would require Catholic church officials to report suspected child abuse to authorities.

The bill to amend the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act would add all church employees to the current list of those required to report any cases they are aware of.

John Diaz says that as a victim of repeated abuse within Guam's Catholic church, he is pushing for more accountability over such crimes.

"Trying to make sure that my people are going to be OK, that my people are not going to be swept under the rug, because I have had to do it. The issue has never been about litigation or money , the issue has always been about transparency and accountability and if we cannot do that for the poorest of the poor, then we cannot do that at all for the Catholic Church."

A former seminarian, John Diaz claims officials within the church covered up his case