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  • By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Former Guam priest accused of sex abuse removed from clerical state

Former priest Adrian Cristobal has been laicized for violations against the Sixth Commandment with minors, Archbishop Michael Byrnes announced today.

Cristobal was first accused of sexual abuse of minors in two separate lawsuits in April 2018. A month later, a third altar boy came forward with similar sexual misconduct allegations.

The canonical administrative penal process began in 2018 after consulting with the Vatican, according to a press release from the Archdiocese of Agana.

Among the allegations against Cristobal were that he sexually abused one boy for almost 18 years from 1995 through 2013. Another boy alleged that he was sexually abused from 1995 through 1997, starting at age 10.

Immediately after the lawsuits were filed, Cristobal, who had been working in the Diocese of Phoenix, was ordered to return to his home diocese in Guam.

A new lawsuit was filed against Cristobal in early July 2019, alleging he abused a boy from 2008 till 2010, from ages 12 to 14.

Laicization, or Loss of Clerical State means Cristobal is not to wear ecclesiastical garb or be addressed by titles used by ordained priests, such as Father or Reverend. Cristobal is deprived of clerical offices, functions, and any designated power granted to him as a cleric. He has no right to financial support from the Archdiocese of Agaña. This decision is in accordance with the authority granted to Archbishop Byrnes by the Holy See. The Archdiocese completed its canonical administrative process in December 2020. Legal counsel has advised that the archdiocese make no further comment on the matter due to on-going litigation.

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