By GRACE GARCES BORDALLO
HAGATNA, Guam – A 95- year-old Catholic priest admitted to sexually abusing boys decades ago on Guam. He said he confessed his sins to other priests on the island at the time but none told him to specifically stop.
Instead, the Rev. Louis Brouillard said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Saturday morning that the other priests told him to“do better” along with regular penance, such as saying Hail Mary prayers.
Brouillard served in Guam from the 1940s through the 1970s, teaching at San Vicente and Father Duenas Memorial schools while he was a priest. He said he molested “a couple of boys” during that time.
However, when pressed on how many boys he might have abused,Brouillard said: “I have no idea. Maybe 20.”
“At that time, when I was that age, I got the impression that kids liked it, so I went ahead. But now of course, I know it’s wrong and I’m paying for it,” Brouillard said.
Leo B. Tudela, 73, emotionally testified about what he said was abuse by Brouillard in the mid-1950s during a hearing this week in the Guam Legislature. Tudela urged senators to support legislation that would lift the statute of limitations for lawsuits against those who sexually abused children. It’s now two years.
Brouillard said he didn’t remember Tudela.
Brouillard’s admissions come after three former altar boys and the mother of another filed a $2 million libel and slander lawsuit against former Guam Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron and the archdiocese, saying they were called liars when they raised allegations that Apuron sexually abused boys in the 1970s.
Apuron has denied the abuse and not been charged with any crime. The Vatican appointed Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai as a temporary administrator after the allegations surfaced.
After the allegations against Brouillard were first reported by the Pacific Daily News this week, Hon released a statement: “With the news that Father Louis Brouillard, a priest who served on Guam confessed to having abused altar boys on Guam in the 1950s,I convey my deepest apologies and that of the entire church to Mr. Leo Tudela and all other persons who were also victimized.”
Hon also directed church investigators to speak with Tudela and others who have raised allegations of sexual abuse.
The Associated Press does not typically name people who say they are victims of sex abuse, but Tudela gave his testimony at a public hearing.
Brouillard said he hasn’t been defrocked,and lives in Pine City, Minnesota, on a small pension from the church in Guam.
He said he has volunteered with the local Meals on Wheels program for 30 years as atonement. He said he never sought to silence his victims, and he offers daily prayers to the boys he molested.
“I regret with all my heart that I did anything wrong to them,”he said.“I am praying for the boys and hope that they can forgive me and that God can.”