Successor appointed for Guam archbishop accused of abuse

Catholic News Agency

Hagatna, Guam, Oct 31, 2016 / 03:10 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on Monday appointed Bishop Michael Byrnes as the successor to Guam’s archbishop, who has been accused of sexual abuse of minors.

Bishop Byrnes has until now served as an auxiliary bishop in Detroit. His apointment as coadjutor comes with special faculties.

As Coadjutor Archbishop of Agaña, Bishop Byrnes possesses the right of succession and will automatically be appointed Archbishop of Agaña when it’s current ordinary, Archbishop Anthony Apuron, retires.

Though he is still formally archbishop, Apuron was relieved of his pastoral and administrative authority in June. Since then, the Agaña archdiocese has been cared for by an apostolic administrator, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai.

“I am humbled by the Holy Father’s decision to entrust the Archdiocese of Agaña to my pastoral care,” Bishop Byrnes said upon his Oct. 31 appointment. “The great spiritual writer, Blessed Columba Marmion, wrote, ‘The task of the priest is to give Jesus to the world.’ That is what I have endeavored to do as an auxiliary bishop here in Detroit, and I look forward to giving Jesus to the thousands of people who live in the island of Guam.”

The Archdiocese of Agaña serves Catholics in Guam, a U.S. island territory in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. Bishop Byrnes commented that “I have learned that the Catholic faith has long been embraced on the island, and the faith of the people is rooted in a rich history of devotion to Jesus and to His Blessed Mother.”

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