22 Dec 2014

High-level Vatican visit to Guam amid allegations

8:13 pm on 22 December 2014

A high-level Vatican official is to visit Guam's Catholic community next month.

The Pacific Daily News reports that it is unclear whether the nature of the visit by Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai is friendly or investigatory.

Guam's Archdiocese of Agana says that Hon's Guam trip is a "pastoral visit" that comes in the wake of Archbishop Anthony Apuron's recent trip to see Pope Francis in Rome.

However, Hon is the secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Vatican office to whom some of Guam's Catholics have sent letters in recent months, seeking an investigation into various controversies in the local archdiocese.

Representatives from different Guam parishes have formed a group called Concerned Catholics of Guam and plan to investigate the archdiocese's handling of a sexual molestation allegation against Archbishop Apuron.

The Archbishop calls the allegation a "horrible calumny," and is planning a defamation lawsuit.