Hours after it was announced by the Archdiocese of Agana that Monsignor James Benavente was to be cleared of any financial irregularities, local news media reported complaints had been filed on behalf of Catholic Cemeteries of Guam Inc.

The Post learned a complaint was filed against a member of the Archdiocese of Agana on Sept. 30, according to a release from Captain Kim Santos, spokeswoman for the Guam Police Department. “The case is open and under investigation. No further details are available at this time,” the release stated.

The Archdiocese of Agana sent a statement in response to the report from local news media.

“Late yesterday afternoon, the Archdiocese learned second-hand, from local news media, that an individual had filed a complaint against Monsignor James Benavente with the Guam Police and Attorney General’s Office on behalf of the Catholic Cemeteries,” the statement from the archdiocese read.

According to the statement, Catholic Cemeteries of Guam Inc. is an entity of the Archdiocese of Agana.

“Pope Francis entrusted full pastoral responsibility and administrative authority of the Archdiocese to Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, SDB, as Apostolic Administrator of Agana in June,” the statement said.

“The subject matter which the complaint mentions (according to the report from another media source) was addressed and the findings determined Monsignor James to be cleared of any financial irregularities,” the release from the archdiocese stated. “Archbishop Hon wishes to make very clear that in no way has he authorized any individual to represent the Archdiocese nor file such a complaint on behalf of the Catholic Cemeteries and the Archdiocese.”

A grave wrong

According to the archdiocese, such misrepresentation constitutes a grave wrong and disobedience that the recognized leadership of our Catholic Church on Guam will not tolerate. "Indeed, we were not consulted or contacted regarding this act," the archdiocese stated.

“Archbishop Hon will take immediate and appropriate action to discipline the person or persons involved as he would do with any act of insubordination by persons under his pastoral care,” the statement read.

Carlina Charfauros, spokeswoman for the Office of the Attorney General, said she could not confirm whether a complaint had been filed against Benavente at the OAG.


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