Internal receivership – Cathedral in Guam in US$1.9m debt


The Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica, in Hagåtña, Guam, incurred $1.9 million in new debt during the past two and a half years, and it is having difficulty paying it back.

The cathedral has been placed in an internal receivership, which has taken over its financial management and operations to help pay off its debt and meet its monthly obligations.

Richard Untalan, president of the Archdiocesan Finance Council, made the announcement of an internal receivership during a Friday afternoon press conference.

Untalan said about $1.1 million of the cathedral’s debt is outstanding payables to suppliers, vendors and other creditors.

He said the remaining $800,000is owed to the Bank of Guam, and the council has not yet determined how that money, which refinanced part of an older loan, was spent.

Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes, in consultation with his presbyteral council and the Archdiocesan Finance Council, said he placed the cathedral under temporary receivership as a last resort.

Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron, who is undergoing a Vatican canonical trial, removed Monsignor James Benavente as rector of the cathedral basilica in 2014, creating an uproar among parishioners.

Apuron then named Monsignor David Quitugua as rector.

When Pope Francis suspended Apuron in June 2016, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai appointed the Rev. Paul Gofigan as rector of the cathedral.

Ricardo Duenas, a member of the Archdiocesan Receivership Committee, said prior to Benavente’s removal as rector, the cathedral’s basket collection was about $10,000 a week.

When sex abuse allegations against Apuron surfaced, on top of his questionable financial and leadership decisions, the number of parishioners coming to the cathedral declined, and so did the weekly collection, an Archdiocesan Finance Council member said.


Additional reading

News category: Asia Pacific.

Tags: , , ,