4 Feb 2017

Guam's Catholic Church facing potential $60m in payouts

2:41 pm on 4 February 2017

Guam's new Catholic Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes says he's been instructed by the Pope to bring healing and unity to the territory as the church faces legal action for child sex abuse.

Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica in Guam

Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica in Guam Photo: 123rf

The Guam Daily Post reports 12 cases involving accusations of sexual abuse against former Guam clergy have been filed in the district court, each demanding a minimum of $5 million in damages.

Archbishop Byrnes said the church was considering bankruptcy protection and out of court settlements as it was facing $60 million in potential payouts.

He said the clergyman at the centre of the scandal, Archbishop Anthony Apuron, still retained his title and salary.

The Vatican placed Archbishop Apuron on leave last June after former altar boys accused him of sexual abuse in the 1970s.

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