Archdiocese confirms monsignor's removal was over finances
Guam - Following the removal of Monsignor James Benavente as rector for the Cathedral Basilica and director of director of the Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Agana, Archbishop Anthony Apuron today finally issued a statement on the matter.
In a press release he stated that based on the findings of a recent audit he decided that a change in administration in the two entities was necessary and urgent to re-establish proper accounting practices, complete a financial review , financial report and an audit.
According to Apuron an audit conducted by Deloitte & Touche revealed the Cathedral and Catholic Cemeteries have about $7 million in indebtedness. He added the firm determined the accounting practices, especially in the Catholic Cemeteries are "inappropriate" and that an audit is not possible until appropriate accounting has been reestablished in the Catholic Cemeteries of Guam. The archbishop removed Monsignor James from his positions, exactly one week after he celebrated his 20 year anniversary. The monsignor has denied any wrongdoing.