by Sabrina Salas Matanane
Guam - The Archdiocese of Agana and Archbishop Anthony Apuron remain silent as to why the sudden removal of Monsignor James Benavente as Rector of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica and as Director of the Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Agana. He has held the position of Rector for the last 20 years. The Archbishop also dissolved the Archdiocesan Development Group which served as the umbrella organization of the Cathedral's gift shop, museum and media ministries. On Saturday Msgr. James sent a letter to members of the Cathedral's Parish Council and Finance Council to inform them of his removal. He also sent the letter to employees of the Cathedral's Pastoral Center, Gift Shop and Catholic Cemeteries.
"After 20 years of service as Rector of the Cathedral-Basilica, please accept my profound appreciation for your support and working relationship throughout the years. I ask for your continued prayers for our Archbishop, our Church, and humbly, for me as well. Please be assured of my prayers and continued concern for you and your families," Msgr. James wrote.
Calls to Msgr. James for comment went unreturned. However a source close to the Monsignor tells KUAM that he was removed on allegations of financial mismanagement which he denies. Calls to Archdiocese of Agana spokesperson Father Adrian Cristobal have also gone unanswered. Although we have not received a response from the Archdiocese the Jungle Watch blog which writes about the local catholic community also reports Msgr. James was removed on allegations of financial mismanagement. "Msgr. James asked for a list of the charges and asked for time to clear his name. The Archbishop agreed," Jungle Watch's Tim Rohr wrote