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THe ARCHDIOCESE OF AGANA CHANCERY OFFICE 1968 Cuesta San Ramon + Hagithe, Guam 96910 + Tek: (671) 472-6116 + Fax: (671) 477-3519 A Statement from Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, OFM Cap., D.D. Metropolitan Archbishop of Agana, Guam 28 November 2014 On Friday, November 21, 2014, I met with his Holiness Pope Francis in a private audience, which he granted, at my request. This meeting with the Holy Father was a grace for our Church of Guam, and a tremendous gift for me. He received me warmly. I wanted to speak with the Holy Father about the situation of the Church in Guam, and the critical role we play in the evangelization of the Pacific; we spoke of the challenges and the joys of our local Church. Pope Francis showed interest to know about Guam and the Pacific. He was happy to hear that we have two seminaries and the Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores Theological Institute, affiliated with the Pontifical Lateran University and he appreciated the strategic contribution these institutions offered to the New Evangelization of Oceania. the As I did when we last met in Korea, | invited him again to visit our island on his way to Philippines. He assured his prayer for our island, and he extended his blessings. Regarding the allegations appearing here in the media, it is a horrible calumny, and Iam obliged to defend not my person but the Church. On the advice of legal counsel, I will not answer any questions. However, defending the Church compels me to file a suit for defamation; any damages that I receive I will not keep for myself, but will be given to the charitable causes of our Church. Thave dedicated my life to spread the Catholic faith through my words and actions. It has been my sincere effort to urge strict respect for the teachings of our Catholic faith by leading the Church through prayer, and by example, in my own behavior. 1 trust that the members of our Guam Catholic family who have observed my actions and leadership for the last thirty years will know in their hearts and spirit that these allegations are false.