The Archdiocese of Agana adopted a new policy on child protection, following a child sex abuse scandal which has implicated the former archbishop and other clerics. The recently installed Coadjutor Archbishop of Agana, Michael Byrnes, adopted the child protection program and a policy for an independent review board. The Archdiocese of Agana serves Catholics in Guam, a U.S Island territory in the northwestern Pacific Ocean.
As reported by Catholic News Agency, His Grace Byrnes remarked that “These policies will help to instigate a change of culture in our Archdiocese and we must now exercise the will, the effort, and the expense to implement completely the provisions set forth and safe environments for our children must become a reality in our midst.”
The new policies were recommended to Byrnes by an independent review board, and are meant to implement fully the broad policy statements of the US Bishops’ conference norms and charter and the policies will require background checks and more rigorous prevention training.