Bishop from Detroit appointed coadjutor in Guam


The Holy Father has appointed Jude Michael Byrnes as the coadjutor archbishop of Agaña “with special faculties.”

He has been given full pastoral responsibility and administrative authority in the archdiocese.

“I got a call from the papal nuncio (Archbishop Christophe Pierre); it was a 5-10 minute conversation, where he asked me if I would accept the appointment to become the next archbishop of Agaña, Guam,” Archbishop-designate Byrnes said in an interview with The Michigan Catholic.

“I said yes, I’m willing to do whatever the Holy Father asked of me.”

Byrnes was born in Detroit in 1958 and ordained a priest for the archdiocese of Detroit in 1996.

He has a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University and has served as a pastor and as vice rector of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

He was consecrated bishop and appointed auxiliary bishop of Detroit in 2011.

Though he is still formally archbishop of Agaña, Anthony 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.

Apuron was suspended after multiple sex-abuse charges, has welcomed the appointment of a coadjutor archbishop.

He said that the Vatican’s appointment of Byrnes, a Detroit was “a most welcome answer to my request for help in the governance of the island at this time.”

Apuron, who has consistently denied the charges against him, said that he is currently “working with the authorities in the Vatican to establish my innocence.”

Tai Fai told the National Catholic Reporter  the Vatican is preparing to put Apuron on trial.

Last Tuesday he told reporters that “they just formed all the conditions for the trial.”

In an interview Byrnes said he hoped that “we will be able to strengthen all our parishes’ ability .. .the kind of sensitivity and awareness of protecting God’s children”

Byrnes said the Guam church’s victim response coordination team is “a very good first step.”

“As far as the Neocatechumenal Way, I am aware of them,” Byrnes said. “I met some of them, and my thought there is that we are all Catholics, we worship the same Jesus, and we might do it a little bit different in certain cases.

“But, you know, my point there would be to say that’s why I need to investigate myself and come to know the people involved.”

Read  Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai’s press release


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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