Survey claims Catholic Church in Guam in decline


A survey being circulated in the Archdiocese of Agaña claims that Archbishop Michael Byrnes has said that baptisms, weddings, school enrollment and church attendance in Guam are decreasing even though the population has increased.

The survey also claims that less than 50 percent of Guam’s population now identify as Catholic.

According to the 2010 Census about 75 percent of the population was Catholic and 17 percent Protestant, with the remainder identifying as other denominations.

The survey was written and circulated through social media by a local deacon who remains anonymous. It asks for “positive responses only.”

The deacon says it is being taken to gather information for a white paper he and a group of laymen are preparing to present to the archbishop.

It asks respondents what they would like the Archdiocese of Agaña to look like in the year 2028?

Tony Diaz, communications director for the archdiocese said Byrnes knows about it and supports it.

“The archbishop and archdiocese welcome it as we try to unite across all fronts and move forward,” Diaz said on behalf of Byrnes.

“It’s a journey that’s going to take many, many steps but we’re grateful for the many individuals helping.”

“Through a grass-roots effort, the deacon hopes the community will contribute their vision of the archdiocese 10 years down the line.”

157 lawsuits have been filed in Guam alleging instances of sexual abuse.

Pope Francis placed the Archbishop of Agaña Anthony Apuron on leave in June 2016 after accusations of sexual abuse were made against him.

Apuron, who continues to deny the accusations, was tried by a Vatican court. A verdict is awaited.

Apuron was present at a papal audience on February 7.

The Vatican Insider claimed that when Apuron personally greeted the Pope at the end of the audience, he told the Pope, “Holy Father, I wanted to see you before I die.”


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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