Priests demand clarification from archbishop - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Priests demand clarification from archbishop

Posted: Updated:
 by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - There are new developments to report in the ongoing controversy in the local Catholic church as several priests have written a letter to Archbishop Anthony Apuron demanding clarification to statements he made in a press release to the media regarding the removal of Monsignor James Benavente.

Father Tom McGrath, Father Jeff San Nicolas, Father Mike Crisostomo, Father Patrick Castro and Father Gus Gumataotao are the latest in a string of faithful members of the island's Catholic community seeking answers and clarification from the archbishop specifically on the removal of Monsignor Benavente. Just a week after the monsignor's 20-year celebration of faith and service, the archbishop removed him from his duties as the rector of the Archdiocese of Agana and the director of Catholic Cemeteries.

The archbishop removed the monsignor based on allegations of financial mismanagement. His sudden ouster created an uproar in the local church many of whom gathered in prayer on the footsteps of the cathedral. Andy Balajadia said at the time, "We are losing confidence and trust in his leadership. I hope that by praying he will change."

Others who have worked alongside the monsignor on the church's finances also took the steps of the cathedral to defend the reputation of Monsignor James.  "We felt compelled to speak out after the archbishop issued a statement accusing Monsignor James of financial practices that were grave and detrimental to the archdiocese nothing is further from the truth," he said.

And speaking of the truth - it appears these five priests want the archbishop to tell clarify statements he issued in his press dated July 29.

In that press release regarding Monsignor James removal the archbishop wrote, "I informed the Presbyteral Council, the College of Consultors and the Archdiocesan Finance Council about this situation and they expressed their support'.

This quote apparently isn't exactly true-according to a letter they signed and sent to the archbishop and posted on the JungleWatch blog. Father Tom, Father Jeff, Father Mike, Father Patrick and Father Gus who are the members of the aforementioned council they "disagree" with his statement and its connection with his decision to remove Monsignor James.

They refer to a meeting they had with the archbishop on July 25 during which he presented the financial situation of the Archdiocese of Agana. The priests state the archbishop made no mention of his intent to remove Monsignor James. "We were not consulted on the matter and had no opportunity to discuss or raise objection to his removal and that at no point during these proceedings was a vote or question on the matter placed on the table for discussion to come to the conclusion of our "expressed support of your decision to remove him"

It's for this reason they request he issue a public clarification. As of today no public clarification has been issued since the priest wrote the letter two weeks ago on August 4.
  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Bank of Guam merges Santa Cruz branch with Hagatna HQ

    Bank of Guam merges Santa Cruz branch with Hagatna HQ

    On Tuesday, Bank of Guam celebrated the merging of the Santa Cruz branch with their headquarters in Hagatna. After more than 40 years, a time capsule that was buried at the Bank in 1975 was unveiled and is now on display. The last day of the Santa Cruz Branch operations is Monday December 11, 2017.More >>
    On Tuesday, Bank of Guam celebrated the merging of the Santa Cruz branch with their headquarters in Hagatna. After more than 40 years, a time capsule that was buried at the Bank in 1975 was unveiled and is now on display. The last day of the Santa Cruz Branch operations is Monday December 11, 2017.More >>
  • DOE schools closed for Black Friday

    DOE schools closed for Black Friday

    Just as a reminder - Friday the 24th  has been declared a Government of Guam holiday by Governor Eddie Calvo. There will be no classes held for any of the island's public schools. Classes will resume on Monday.More >>
    Just as a reminder - Friday the 24th  has been declared a Government of Guam holiday by Governor Eddie Calvo. There will be no classes held for any of the island's public schools. Classes will resume on Monday.More >>
  • Young woman dead after Yigo crash

    Young woman dead after Yigo crash

    A woman, 20, is dead after a serious crash in Yigo early Thursday. It happened along Route 15 near the Church of Christ around 4:21 am.  Police responded to the scene where a man driving a 1991 Toyota Hilux lost control of the pickup truck and ran off the road. Investigators say it appears he had been heading westbound towards Dededo when it occurred. The woman, who was in the passenger seat, was ejected from the truck.  Authorities say the driver was conscious and alert, ...More >>
    A woman, 20, is dead after a serious crash in Yigo early Thursday. It happened along Route 15 near the Church of Christ around 4:21 am.  Police responded to the scene where a man driving a 1991 Toyota Hilux lost control of the pickup truck and ran off the road. Investigators say it appears he had been heading westbound towards Dededo when it occurred. The woman, who was in the passenger seat, was ejected from the truck.  Authorities say the driver was conscious and alert, ...More >>
Powered by Frankly