Bishop Jimenez requests prayers

BISHOP Ryan Jimenez on Tuesday issued the following statement:

“My dear brothers and sisters in Christ in the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa:

“It is with deep sadness and great bearing to learn of the sexual abuse allegations in a civil claim against then-priest and now Bishop Emeritus Tomas A. Camacho by Guam resident Melvin Duenas. I request for your prayers for everyone affected by this news — those who have sought and continue to seek redress from abuses, the accused and their journey to realize due process, the families on each side that are struck with a heavy weight of pain that comes with each sharing, and everyone within our midst who are affected one way or another.

“The Church shall act, consistent with our faith, with justice and mercy. We have communicated with the Archdiocese of Agana where then-Father Camacho served as a priest at the time alleged in the lawsuit. Our prayers go out to Mr. Duenas and his family. We also ask for prayers for Bishop Tomas and his family. Since this is a matter in litigation, the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa can offer no further comment on this matter. We give our full cooperation with civil authorities.

“Our Diocese is committed to the protection of children and young people. The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) sets the norms for our diocese. We are working hard to maintain a safe church environment, especially through education and transparency. Three years ago, we started a series of trainings and workshops on child protection for all our church workers and volunteers. We will continue this training and formation for the clergy, Catholic schools personnel, CCD instructors, diocesan staff and others in positions of authority.

“This coming Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, there will be a holy hour from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in all our parishes. I invite everyone to reach a location of your choosing and to pray together. At this time, we tum to the Lord Jesus, who is the Truth (John 14:6), for truly, our help is from the Lord (Psalm 121:2).”