Archdiocese: Priest accused of abuse must return to Guam by June 15

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Pacific Daily News

25 May 2018

After former altar boys tearfully went public with allegations, a law was passed to open doors for lawsuits against the church, clergy and others. Wochit

The Archdiocese of Agana instructed Father Adrian Cristobal, who has been accused of sexually abusing three boys, to return to Guam by June 15 or sanctions would be imposed on him.

The sanctions would be in addition to precautionary measures imposed on Cristobal when the first allegation was filed on April 10, such as temporarily banning the priest from celebrating Mass publicly or hearing confession while investigations are ongoing.

Cristobal is believed to be in the vicinity of New York, after leaving the Diocese of Phoenix in Arizona in April.

Tony Diaz, director of communications for the archdiocese, on Friday said the archdiocese has repeatedly communicated to Cristobal, via e-mail, that he is to return to Guam immediately.

“He has not complied,” Diaz said in a statement. “In the most recent communication to Father Adrian this week, the archdiocese has told the priest, he must return to Guam by June 15. Sanctions would be imposed on him should he not comply or produce a valid reason why he cannot return.”

The archdiocese acknowledges the third and latest allegation of sexual abuse naming Cristobal, a former chancellor for the archdiocese.

Like the second allegation, the third case is added to the investigation and review process, Diaz said.

The third lawsuit was filed by a person identified in court documents only as J.E. to protect his privacy. The lawsuit says the priest sexually abused J.E. during the mid- to late-1990s, while J.E. was an altar boy at San Vicente Catholic Church in Barrigada. Two other individuals filed separate lawsuits in April and earlier in May, claiming Cristobal sexually abused them.

Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes extends prayers on behalf of the archdiocese to J.E. and his family, as well as all who have come forward recently and in the past with such allegations.

There have been 170 Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuits filed in local and federal courts since 2016 against the Archdiocese of Agana, priests, other clergy and others associated with the Catholic Church.

Reporter Haidee Eugenio covers Guam’s Catholic church issues, education, government, business and more. Follow her on Twitter @haidee_eugenio. Follow Pacific Daily News on Facebook/GuamPDN and Instagram @guampdn. 

1 Response to Archdiocese: Priest accused of abuse must return to Guam by June 15

  1. Sylvia says:

    So, he’s still believed to be somewhere in the vicinity of New York. I still wonder if he is in or might happen to be somewhere in the vicinity of Ottawa Ontario?

    Whereabouts of this suspect clerical sexual predator aside, surely Father Cristobal has had more than sufficient time to produce a “valid reason” why he cannot return? I don’t know what charisms, if any, he may or not possess, but in light of all of this I think it’s safe to say that obedience is not once of them.

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