Church finances in shambles

Pacific Daily News

[with video]

Jul. 30, 2014

Archbishop Anthony Apuron yesterday said Monsignor James Benavente was removed as rector of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica because of poor financial management.

The Cathedral-Basilica and the Catholic cemeteries are millions of dollars in the red, according to the archbishop, and accounting practices are so “inappropriate” the cemeteries’ funding cannot be properly audited.

Apuron released a statement, shortly before a huge crowd of Benavente supporters gathered at the steps of the Cathedral-Basilica, that he decided “a change in administration” at the Cathedral-Basilica and Catholic Cemeteries of Guam Inc. is necessary so accounting practices can be re-established and financial audits can be completed.

Benavente, who had been the rector at the Cathedral-Basilica for nearly 20 years, declined to comment on the allegations.

He did say a prayer before a few hundred of his supporters who gathered despite strong winds and rain outside the Cathedral-Basilica and across the street from the church in Hagåtña.

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