1 Nov 2016

Replacement archbishop appointed for Guam

3:18 pm on 1 November 2016

The pope has appointed a new archbishop for Guam where the current head of the Catholic Church faces potential charges for historical sex abuse.

The Archdiocese of Detroit says Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Michael Byrnes to lead the Guam archdiocese in the absence of Anthony Apuron.

So far, five former altar boys have gone public to accuse Archbishop Apuron of sexually abusing them in the 1970s.

Archbishop Anthony Apuron

Archbishop Anthony Apuron Photo: Pacific Daily News

The Vatican relieved him of his duties in June, although he officially remains the Archbishop of Agana.

In September, Guam's governor signed into law a bill that removed the statute of limitations, which allows the church to be sued for historical allegations.

In a statement, Bishop Byrnes acknowledged there are "challenges to face" in his new role, and he will "persevere to meet them."

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