Another church official resigns

BENAVENTE: Monsignor James Benavente speaks during a press conference last year at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica. Benavente recently resigned as delegate of the coadjutor archbishop for church patrimony of the Archdiocese of Agana. Post file photo

Monsignor James Benavente has resigned as delegate of the coadjutor archbishop for church patrimony of the Archdiocese of Agana.

"The archdiocese confirms that Monsignor James Benavente has submitted his resignation as delegate of coadjutor archbishop for church patrimony. The archbishop is praying for Monsignor James and has not made any decision on the resignation at this time," according to an official statement from the archdiocese.

Benavente is the second recent church official to step down from his post. On June 18, Monsignor David C. Quitugua also resigned as a member of the College of Consultors.

"Archbishop Byrnes withdrew Quitugua's membership in the College of Consultors in light of the current climate in the Church on the island," the archdiocese stated. "He extends prayers to Monsignor David."

Benavente held his post since last year. He had served as parochial vicar of St. Anthony Church in Tamuning before his appointment.

Allegations of financial mismanagement

Around October of last year, prior to his assignment as delegate, he was cleared of accusations of financial mismanagement by Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, who was then appointed as the apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana.

In July 2014, now-suspended Archbishop Anthony Apuron allegedly removed Benavente from his position as rector of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica, due to "allegations of financial mismanagement."

Hon stated in a letter, "Having examined all the documents and reports made available to me, I hereby declare that Msgr. Benavente's response is found both credible and satisfactory and that none of these alleged major irregularities should be held valid."

The letter continued, "I, thus, declare that the decision of his removal be considered invalid and any statement released from the archdiocese against him or any of his staff in this matter ought to be considered invalid."

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