14 Sep 2016

Lawsuits will uncover truth about abuse on Guam

12:53 pm on 14 September 2016

A campaigner for victims of abuse by priests says civil lawsuits will be far more effective in uncovering abuse on Guam than the Catholic Church's own investigations.

A bill has been approved by the Guam legislature removing the statute of limitations for filing civil claims for sexual abuse crimes.

It comes as a fifth allegation of historical abuse has been made against Guam's Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron

Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron Photo: Pacific Daily News

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests spokesperson Joelle Casteix said the allegations have been poorly handled by the Church.

She said giving victims access to the courts has been shown to be the best way to get to the bottom of institutional abuse.

"It will allow them access to secret abuse and coverup documents. It will also give victims the opportunity to sit and watch as church officials are deposed under oath to tell what they know about abuse."

Ms Casteix said the church has done little to find out the truth about abuse on Guam.

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