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Guam priest banned in church premises



By Pacific Island Times News Staff


A priest who was arrested in 2015 after being caught with a 17-year-old girl has returned to Guam after being off-island for nine years while under a canonical investigation, the Archdiocese of Agaña disclosed today.


The archdiocese said Father Luis Camacho has been notified that he is restricted from serving in any parish, school or church office at this time. Other restrictions imposed on his duties since his arrest remain in place, church officials said.


The Guam Police Department charged Camacho with custodial interference on March 17, 2015 after being found at the beach alone with a teenager. He resigned as pastor of San Dimas, Malesso and San Dionisio, Umatac after his arrest.


Former Archbishop Anthony Apuron sent Camacho to a priestly renewal program after the incident in 2015, which occurred at the height of investigations into sex abuse cases against the clergy.


The archdiocese has since settled the civil lawsuits filed by 280 individuals who alleged they were raped and molested by priests and other members of the clergy from the 1950s to as late as 2013.


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The archdiocese said Apostolic Administrator Father Romeo Convocar is reviewing Camacho's case before any return to public ministry is considered.

 

Camacho was prohibited from hearing confession. While restricted from celebrating Mass publicly, he was allowed to celebrate Mass privately.

 

Rome opened a canonical investigation on Camacho following the 2015 incident. Though the Vatican has not been able to make a canonical ruling due to insufficient evidence, the case is not closed.


The Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith informed then Archbishop Michael Byrnes on Nov. 18, 2022 that the case is filed in the archives at this time as it is not possible to proceed with any canonical action.

 

Father Michael Crisostomo, the delegate for the apostolic administrator and Father Karl Vila, an archdiocesan Canon lawyer met with Camacho last week.


The Priest Personnel Board and the College of Consultors will be asked to review his case and make the appropriate recommendations to the apostolic administrator.



 

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