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Jean-Pol Grandmont
World News

Guam archbishop accused of abuse welcomes successor

by Hannah Tooley

Archbishop Anthony S Apuron has issued a written statement both praising appointment of his likely successor as well as stressing that he is ready to prove his innocence in an upcoming trial over alleged sexual abuse in the 1970s.

Earlier in the week the Vatican announced that Pope Francis had appointed Detroit Bishop Michael Jude Byrnes to work in the Archdiocese of Agana.

He will succeed the accused Archbishop Apuron if he steps down or is removed.

Archbishop Anthony S Apuron wrote in his statement: "It is with great joy that I welcome the news of the appointment of Bishop Michael J. Byrnes as coadjutor archbishop of Agana by the Holy Father.

"This is a most welcome answer to my requests for help in the governance of the island at this time."

Apuron, 71, was relieved of his duties in June after a number of former altar boys publically accused the Catholic leader of abuse.

He has denied the allegations and has yet to be charged with any crime, he has not been seen in public in five months.

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