Vatican upholds Apuron's conviction

Anthony Apuron

The Vatican has upheld its conviction of ousted Archbishop Anthony Apuron for sexually abusing minors and permanently stripped him of his rank as bishop in a decision that brings closure to the clergy abuse scandal that has rocked the Guam church.

In a statement released Thursday, the Vatican said “the Tribunal of Second Instance upheld the sentence of First Instance finding the Archbishop guilty of delicts against the Sixth Commandment with minors” on Feb. 7.

“This decision represents the definitive conclusion in this case. No further appeals are possible,” the Vatican said.

Apuron was sentenced with removal from office, banishment from Guam and lifetime prohibition from using the bishop insignia.

“We welcome this closure with great relief. We have needed it badly. It has been a long and painful period for our Church and our island community as a whole,” Archbishop Michael Byrnes of Agana said in a statement.