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Thursday 19 May 2016 | Published in Regional


GUAM – The head of the Catholic Church in Guam has been forced to publicly defend himself from accusations of sexual abuse, describing the allegation as part of an ongoing “malicious” attack.

“To be absolutely clear and to avoid any misinterpretations of my statement I deny all allegations of sexual abuse,” Archbishop Anthony Apuron said in a televised statement.

The accusation was made by 52-year-old Roy Taitague Quintanilla who said he was molested 40 years ago when he was an altar boy at a church where the Archbishop was the parish priest in the western Pacific US territory.

Quintanilla, gathered with family and friends outside the archdiocese office in the Guam capital Hagatna, read a letter addressed to Archbishop Apuron claiming he was abused after a trip to the movies with other altar boys.

“I was the last of the altar boys in the van. I thought you were going to take me home like the others, but instead, you asked if I could sleep at your house,” he said, reading the letter.

Quintanilla said he was told to sleep in the same room as Archbishop Apuron where he was molested and “never stopped crying” afterwards.

Before delivering his letter to the chancery office, Quintanilla told the assembled crowd that he wished for closure from a public apology and for the Archbishop to step down from his position.

However, Archbishop Apuron described the “false accusation of sexual abuse” as part of a series of attacks against himself and the church.

“I humbly ask for your prayers and encourage all our faithful to pray for me and for those behind this concerted effort to injure our Catholic Church.”