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Cardinal Burke to investigate case of child abuse involving Archbishop of Guam

by Carlo Marroni

The leader of the opposition to the Pope was sent to Guam, a remote island in the Pacific Ocean that is a United States independent territory.

We are talking about US Cardinal Leo Raymond Burke, who (along with three other cardinals) has led the protest on the papal document on divorced and civilly remarried Catholics and has also played a central role in the crisis of governance of the Order of Malta.

Burke was however not exiled: on October 5, the Cardinal had been appointed president of a “court of first instance” of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith with the task of investigating a case of child abuse involving the Archbishop of Guam, 71-year-old Anthony Apuron.

Four other judges, all Bishops, are part of the court. It was the local newspaper Pacific Daily News that reported yesterday that the Cardinal had arrived on the island to collect the testimony of a former altar boy.

The facts in Guam (where last year Chinese Archbishop Savio Hon, current secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, had served as apostolic administrator for a few months) date back to the 1970s: Apuron is facing four different charges, but pleads innocent.

The “court of first instance” chaired by Burke will have to collect testimonies and documents to be sent to the Congregation.