Archdiocese accuses Monsignor Benavente - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Archdiocese accuses Monsignor Benavente

Posted: Updated:
 by Jolene Toves

Guam - Controversies within the Catholic Church continue as more accusations against Monsignor James Benevente have been made public by the Archdiocese of Agana.

Monsignor Benevente is accused of racking up nearly $1 million on credit card charges, cell phone payments, restaurants, air fare, stays at the Shangri-La Hotel in Manila and other five star hotels when he was rector of the Cathedral Basilica and director of the Catholic Cemeteries of the archdiocese. These accusations raised concern with the Concerned Catholics of Guam a group that was formed to investigate controversies within the Catholic Church.

Vice President Dave Sablan said, "As far as these issues in regards to credit card expenditures I am sure there are good reasons why the monsignor made those charges if they were made by him and this is something that the Concerned Catholics will probably look into."

The Archdiocese of Agana over the weekend issued a press release outlining some of the findings of an internal review in which "grave irregularities" were discovered involving the administration of the entities which were formerly administered by Monsignor James. According to the press release included in the questionable $1 million in expenses, Monsignor James is accused of gifting his close friends and family cemetery family crypts valued at $380,000. The archdiocese also calls out the monsignor for allegedly commingling funds and transferring funds between the Cathedral Basilica and Catholic Cemeteries thus making an audit impossible. The archdiocese was also critical of the monsignor for a $7 million loan for projects and the indebtedness its placed the archdiocese in.

However the CCOG contends otherwise, as Sablan said, "Some of the issue that were mentioned in the statement by the chancery in the finances of the Cathedral Basilica and how Monsignor James managed it have already been discredited number one the archbishop is the ultimate authority to sign off on any loan for the archdiocese and for that matter any parish they need to borrow money in a parish for example the archbishop needs to sign off on that otherwise loan cannot go through."

Sablan adds that the monsignor inherited just about all of the debt when he became rector. Although the monsignor did not answer our calls for comment, KUAM News has obtained a copy of an email he has sent to his close supporters disputing each and every allegation in the archdiocese press release. Monsignor James vehemently denies any wrongdoing and in some instances called some of the accusations "lies". For example claims now made by the archdiocese that the Catholic Cemeteries picked up a $13,000 tab to pay for Monsignor James 20th anniversary reception. The monsignor in his email to his supporters said that was not true and that it was paid for by his family and close friends. In terms of the credit card charges, the monsignor defended that he often times had to use his personal credit card to pay for the Cathedral Basilica's power bill as well as other supplies especially if he was ordering them from off island vendors. The monsignor points out that the cathedral does not have a credit card. As for the charges to stay in five-star hotels, he responds there was only one and confirms he did in fact stay at the Shangri-La and as a frequent customer he received a discounted rate. Matter of fact the archbishop himself has stayed at the hotel with him and that he always picks up the tab for the archbishop. In terms of the $7 million loan he questions why the archdiocese is making it look as if they did not approve the projects, considering that it had to be approved by all church bodies including the archbishop and current rector Monsignor David Quitugua. You may remember last year, Archbishop Anthony Apuron suddenly removed Monsignor James from his positions as rector of the cathedral and director of the Catholic Cemeteries citing financial mismanagement. Monsignor James denied the allegations.  
  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • GACs stakeholders support renewal of Guam's First Charter School

    GACs stakeholders support renewal of Guam's First Charter School

    After school hours, in a packed public hearing room at the Guam Congress Building, stakeholders from Guahan Academy Charter School came out in support of renewing Guahan Academy’s Charter.Students like Amara Joe Labasna, a 3rd grade student studying at GACs for two years, says she learned what she was supposed to learn as a third grader. Adding, “I am 

    More >>

    After school hours, in a packed public hearing room at the Guam Congress Building, stakeholders from Guahan Academy Charter School came out in support of renewing Guahan Academy’s Charter.Students like Amara Joe Labasna, a 3rd grade student studying at GACs for two years, says she learned what she was supposed to learn as a third grader. Adding, “I am only a third grader and I shouldn’t have to wo

    More >>
  • Head of Underground birth-Tourism operation sentenced

    Head of Underground birth-Tourism operation sentenced

    CNMI Chief Judge Ramona Manglona sentenced Sen Sun for his role in operating an illegal birth-Tourism business on Saipan. Mr. Sun illegally employed dozens of Chinese nationals without work authorization as caretakers or "nannies". The judge sentenced Sun to one year and one day of imprisonment, a fine of $1,000, and ordered the defendant forfeit $33,960 in criminally-derived assets. United States Attorney Anderson says "such businesses jeopardize the islands legitimate...More >>
    CNMI Chief Judge Ramona Manglona sentenced Sen Sun for his role in operating an illegal birth-Tourism business on Saipan. Mr. Sun illegally employed dozens of Chinese nationals without work authorization as caretakers or "nannies". The judge sentenced Sun to one year and one day of imprisonment, a fine of $1,000, and ordered the defendant forfeit $33,960 in criminally-derived assets. UniMore >>
  • Guam Guardsmen assisting with volcano support

    Guam Guardsmen assisting with volcano support

    Two members with the Guam National Guard's 94th Civil Support team are set to provide support in Hawaii. This is in response to the fallout of the eruption of the Kilauea volcano in the Big Island. The soldier and airman will leave next week. They will spMore >>
    Two members with the Guam National Guard's 94th Civil Support team are set to provide support in Hawaii. This is in response to the fallout of the eruption of the Kilauea volcano in the Big Island. The soldier and airman will leave next week. They will spMore >>
Powered by Frankly
<div id="CDEV-footer"> <div class="top"> <div class="topRight"> <div class="logo-container"> <img src="http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/professionalservices/clients/kuam/images/footer_logo.png" id="kuamLogo"> </div> </div> <div class="footer-main-nav"> <ul class="link-group"> <li class="lg1"> <a href="/category/172720/reporter-biographies">Meet Our Team</a> </li> <li class="lg1"> <a href="/story/11165417/contact-kuam">Contact Us</a> </li> <li class="lg1"> <a href="/category/170165/jobs-at-kuam">Jobs</a> </li> <li class="lg1"> <a href="/story/10863272/the-history-of-kuam">Our History</a> </li> <li class="lg1"> <a href="/story/23585451/2013/10/02/advertise-with-us">Advertising</a> </li> <li class="lg1"> <a href="/story/11207807/kuam-careforce">KUAM CareForce</a> </li> <li class="lg1"> <a href="/link/657590/kuam-eeo-supplemental-narrative-statement">EEO</a> </li> </ul> <ul class="link-group"> <li class="lg2"> <a href="http://www.kuam.com/">Home</a> </li> <li class="lg2"> <a href="/category/164100/news">News</a> </li> <li class="lg2"> <a href="/weather">Weather</a> </li> <li class="lg2"> <a href="/category/164101/sports">Sports</a> </li> <li class="lg2"> <a href="/video">Video</a> </li> <li class="lg2"> <a href="/category/169968/about">Calendar</a> </li> </ul> <ul class="link-group"> <li class="lg3"> <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kuam-guams-news-network/id383314429" target="_blank">iOS App</a> </li> <li class="lg3"> <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mobdub.channel.KUAM" target="_blank">Android App</a> </li> <li class="lg3"> <a href="/story/32387305/2016/07/07/our-new-baby-kuam-rolls-out-apple-tv-app-for-living-room-streaming" target="_blank">TV Apps</a> </li> <li class="lg3"> <a href="/story/11269715/kuamcom-rss-feeds">RSS Feeds</a> </li> </ul> </div> <div class="footer-search"></div> </div> <div class="bottom"> <div class="copyrightText"> <div class="logo-container"> <a id="wnLogo" href="http://www.worldnow.com"><img src="http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/wncorp/logos/worldnow_white.png" id="wn"></a> </div> <div class="text"> <p> All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KUAM. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our <a class="tnclink" href="/global/story.asp?s=18990">Privacy Policy</a>, and <a class="tnclink" href="/global/story.asp?s=18991">Terms of Service</a>, and <a class="adchoice" href="//www.aboutads.info/choices" target="policy">Ad Choices</a>. </p> </div> <div class="clear"></div> </div> </div> </div>