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Mediation Could Help to Resolve Clergy Sex Abuse Case in Illinois

Thursday, September, 13, 2018

Mediation will play a role in resolving nearly 200 claims of sex abuse against members of Guam’s Catholic Church.  According to Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes, the community needs to take this action and allow the victims to get the justice they deserve.


According to Byrnes, "We cannot fully repay what was taken from these brothers and sisters; we can only offer a token of justice through financial remuneration.”


Those in support of mediation are hoping the process will make it possible to resolve the issues out of the courtroom.  Should it prove unsuccessful, a trial will occur.


Byrnes believes the willingness to participate in the mediation process is a “tangible sign” that shoes the church knows it had done wrong and that it is willing to pay the debt it needs to pay.  Byrnes himself knows that more is needed to resolve the issue than contrition and that an actual settlement might be the only option for putting the issue in the past. 


He also acknowledges further investigation is warranted, but that a settlement in mediation is one of many things that can be done to begin to heal the situation and help the victims.


Byrnes was appointed by Pope Francis as coadjutor archbishop in October 2016, and would replace Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron, if Apuron was removed or chose to resign.  He was suspended in June of that year and found guilty by a Vatican tribunal in a child sex abuse case.


Many states have followed suit and begun investigations into clergy sex abuse claims, so more mediation could be on the way.