Guam: Archbishop Byrnes says first task will be to listen


“My first job is to listen,” said Archbishop Byrnes, the newly appoint coadjutor bishop of Archdiocese of Agãna (Guam).

He added he also is aware that he will have to bring about “healing to those who said they have been abused.”

“I have heard there are protests outside the cathedral with signs saying, ‘Defrock Apuron,’” Archbishop Byrnes said. “At the same time, there are those who are saying, ‘No, I think he’s innocent.’”

The phenomenon is not uncommon. “It’s the same thing in a parish when a priest leaves. People have to take a stand, or they think they do,” Archbishop Byrnes.His assignment is permanent, he told CNS.

Even though Guam is a U.S. territory, it falls under the geographical jurisdiction of a CEPAC. “I don’t even know where they meet,” Archbishop Byrnes said. “I’ve got a lot to learn.”

Byrnes told CNS his appointment is permanent.

“I’m here until I retire or until the pope says he needs me elsewhere.” 

He is scheduled to arrive on Guam Monday, Nov. 28 along with Archbishop Martin Krebs, the Apostolic Nuncio for the Pacific islands.

They  will join  Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai and  Guam’s clergy in a private day of recollection and Mass Monday

A Prayer for the beginning of Byrnes episcopal ministry will be held on Wednesday 30 at the Cathedral-Basilica in Hagatna. 

In the evening the first of novena of Masses honouring Santa Marian Kamalen will be celebrated.

It will be the first public Mass to be celebrated by Byrnes in Guam.

Byrnes will spend a few weeks on the island, then return to Detroit to gather more of his things. “I’m going to miss my friends,” he said. “I’m going to miss winter.”

He is taking no chances in asserting his control over the Redemptoris Mater Seminary.  He filed a complaint on November 18 in the superior court against any others who might try to claim ownership over the seminary.

The filings state it is meant to be an ancillary measure to protect and preserve the plaintiff – Archbishop Byrnes’ – rights with regard to the Yona properties, and that any future claimants, including members of the Neocatechumenal Way, have no enforceable legal or equity interest.

The court action follows document filings at land management last week in which Byrnes also asserted control over the seminary and removed the previous board made up of members from the Neocatechumenal Way.



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News category: Asia Pacific.

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