VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has formally named Monsignor Michael Byrnes as Guam's archbishop following the definitive sex abuse verdict against his predecessor.

Byrnes in 2016 had been named coadjutor bishop for the U.S. Pacific island territory, giving him the right of succession after Archbishop Anthony Apuron was removed pending the investigation into claims by former altar boys that he assaulted them. On Saturday, the Vatican made that transition official after Apuron's guilty verdict was upheld on appeal.

His sentence — a lifelong ban from Guam, removal from office and prohibition of presenting himself as a bishop — disappointed victims' advocates since he was allowed to stay in ministry and not defrocked.

Byrnes has called the sentence "a monumental marker in our journey toward healing."

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Load comments