Sex abuse within the Catholic church is a well-known issue on the mainland, but this is the first time Guam has had to come to grips with it. And it’s a huge deal. Not just because of the abuse, but because the outpouring of accusations that directly confront the church is a sign of huge societal changes in Guam. An island where, after centuries of colonization, many people view Catholicism as an inextricable part of Chamorro culture.
This is a story about the abuse cases, but it’s also a story about the evolving role of the Catholic Church on Guam. And a reporter who’s struggled for years to explain where she comes from and what it means to be Chamorro, finding answers in some very unexpected places.