Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agaña
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agaña (Latin: Archidioecesis Aganiensis, Spanish: Arquidiócesis de Agaña) is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Catholic Church in the United States. It comprises the United States dependency of Guam. The prelate is an archbishop whose cathedral is the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica.
Archdiocese of Agaña
Arquidiócesis de Agaña
|Ecclesiastical province||Ecclesiastical province of Agaña|
|Area||215 sq mi (560 km2)|
|(as of 2006)|
|Sui iuris church||Latin Church|
|Established||March 1, 1911 (109 years ago)|
|Cathedral||Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica|
|Archbishop||Michael J. Byrnes|
|Vicar General||Fr. Jeffery San Nicolas|
The archdiocese is a member of the Episcopal Conference of the Pacific (CEPAC) and of the Federation of Catholic Bishops' Conferences of Oceania, and an observer to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The first Catholic church was established on Guam on June 15, 1668 by Spanish-Filipino colonizers Diego Luis de San Vitores and Pedro Calungsod.:64 Catholics in Guam were part of the Diocese of Cebu, the Philippines. The United States acquired Guam from Spain after the Spanish–American War of 1898. On September 17, 1902, the Apostolic Prefecture of Mariana Islands was established which included Guam.
On March 1, 1911, the Apostolic Vicariate of Guam was canonically erected. On July 4, 1946, territory was added from the suppressed Vicariate Apostolic of Marianne, Caroline, and Marshall Islands.
On March 8, 1984, in response to the growth of Catholicism in Guam and its vicinity, the diocese was elevated to a metropolitan see, the Archdiocese and Metropolitan Province of Agaña. The metropolitan province consists of the Archdiocese of Agaña and its suffragan Roman Catholic Dioceses of Chalan Kanoa and of Caroline Islands, and the Roman Catholic Apostolic Prefecture of the Marshall Islands.
Sex abuse scandal and bankruptcyEdit
In 2016, for the first time in the history of the archdiocese, sexual allegations surfaced against its Ordinary (at the time Archbishop Anthony Apuron). Consequently, on June 6, 2016, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, S.D.B., as apostolic administrator sede plena, i.e., in charge of the pastoral and administrative governance of the local Church.
On October 31, 2016, after months of an Apostolic Administration, Pope Francis appointed Michael J. Byrnes of the Archdiocese of Detroit to become Coadjutor Archbishop of Agaña with special faculties. Those faculties included complete authority in all pastoral and administrative matters in the Archdiocese, both civilly and ecclesiastically.
On March 16, 2018, Archbishop Apuron was removed from office by a Vatican tribunal after being convicted of undisclosed charges in a canonical penal trial. Apuron appealed the decision, which suspended the verdict. However, the verdict of the First Instance canonical penal trial was upheld by the Apostolic Tribunal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) on February 7, 2019. A final ruling was then published by the CDF on April 4, 2019, which also upheld the conviction. The final ruling made so Aproun could not only no longer serve as Bishop, but also could no longer wear the "insignia" associated with it, such as a bishop's ring, miter and staff, or dwell in property owned by the Archdiocese of Agana.
The penalties imposed by the Apostolic Tribunal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith included the privation of office; the perpetual prohibition from dwelling, even temporarily, in the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Agaña; and the perpetual prohibition from using the insignia attached to the rank of Bishop.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith declared that this decision represented the definitive conclusion in the penal trial, and no further appeal is possible.
On January 15, 2019 it was announced that the Archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to the financial burden created by the overwhelming amount of sex abuse lawsuits. In August 2019, it was revealed that 223 people had filed lawsuits against 35 clergymen, teachers and Boy Scout leaders tied to the Catholic Church whom they accused of sexually abusing them while serving with the Archdiocese of Agaña. Despite the bankruptcy filing, the archdiocese had only $45 million in liabilities and had until August 15, 2019, to successfully file a motion for a settlement with the sex abuse victims. Documents obtained by the Associated Press also revealed that claims of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Agaña dated as early as the 1950s and as recent as 2013. The archdiocese afterwards sold its Yona property for $6.1 million to help contribute to the pending settlement. By the time of the August 15 deadline, which also accounted for sex abuse claims, was reached, the number of people suing the Archdiocese for sex abuse had expanded to more than 240, with blame also being directed at the Bishop's residence and office in Hagatna.
Both the Archdiocese and sex abuse survivors negotiated for a settlement between October 30 and 31 2019. It was agreed that there would be direct mediation during the negotiations as well. Guam served as the location for the negotiations as well. The Boy Scouts of America, the Capuchin Franciscans, and some of the people named as defendants in the lawsuits had already started making settlements with clergy sex abuse survivors since 2018. Shortly before the negotiations started, the number of sex abuse claims also expanded to nearly 280. However, the October 2019 negotiations, which were mediated by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Hawaii Robert J. Faris, were cut short after the survivors rejected the settlement offers and continued to pursue their lawsuits. On January 15, 2020, the Archdiocese of Agana submitted its reorganization plan, which also involved a new offer for a $21 million settlement. However, it remained to be seen if the sex abuse survivors will approve of the new settlement offer.
On April 30, 2020, attorneys ended most court litigation after the Archdiocese of Agana filed proof of claim in court to help ensure the bankruptcy agreement, which also includes the potential sex abuse settlement, would go forward. The same day, however, it was revealed in new court documents that a new lawsuit was filed against the Archdiocese of Agana by a former altar boy who claimed that Father Louis Brouillard abused him multiple times from around 1978 to 1979 on the grounds of the Barrigada church and during Boy Scouts of America outings at Lonfit River.
|1||Francisco Xavier Vilá y Mateu, O.F.M.Cap.||August 25, 1911||January 1, 1913|
|2||Agustín José Bernaus y Serra, O.F.M.Cap.||May 9, 1913||September 14, 1913|
|3||Joaquín Felipe Oláiz y Zabalza, O.F.M.Cap.||July 20, 1914||January 1, 1933|
|4||León Angel Olano y Urteaga, O.F.M.Cap.||July 9, 1934||August 20, 1945|
|5||Apollinaris William Baumgartner, O.F.M.Cap.||October 14, 1945||December 18, 1970|
|6||Felixberto Camacho Flores, O.F.M.Cap.||April 21, 1971||October 25, 1985|
|7||Anthony Sablan Apuron, O.F.M.Cap.||May 11, 1986||March 16, 2018|
|8||Michael J. Byrnes||April 4, 2019||Present|
Serra was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Bluefields, Nicaragua in 1913.
Apuron was Auxiliary Bishop (1983-1986); appointed Archbishop here.
Byrnes was Coadjutor Archbishop (2016-2019).
Schools operated by the archdiocese include:
- Academy of Our Lady of Guam (Hagåtña) – Secondary school for girls
- Bishop Baumgartner Memorial School (Sinajana)
- Saint Anthony Catholic School (Tamuning)
- Santa Barbara Catholic School (Dededo)
Schools previously operated by the archdiocese include:
Elementary and middle schools:
- Dominican School (Yigo)
The Archdiocese of Agaña consists of twenty-six parishes on the island of Guam:
- Sånta Bernadita - Agafa Gumas, Yigo
- Sånta Barbara - Dededo
- Saint Andrew Kim - Dededo
- Saint Anthony of Padua and Saint Victor - Tamuning
- Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores - Tumon
- Our Lady of Lourdes - Yigo
Central I Region
- Dulce Nombre de María Cathedral-Basilica - Agaña (Hagåtña)
- San Vicente Ferrer and San Roke - Barrigada
- Nuestra Señora de la Paz y Buen Viaje - Chalan Pågo
- Sånta Teresita - Mangilao
- Nuestra Señora de las Aguas - Mongmong
- Immaculate Heart of Mary - Toto
Central II Region
- Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament - Agaña Heights
- Niño Perdido y Sagrada Familia - Asan
- Our Lady of Purification - Maina
- San Juan Bautista - Ordot
- Saint Jude Thaddeus - Sinajaña
- Assumption of Our Lady - Piti
- Our Lady of Mount Carmel - Agat
- Saint Joseph - Inarajan
- San Isidro - Malojloj
- San Dimas - Merizo
- San Dionisio - Umatac
- Our Lady of Guadalupe - Santa Rita
- San Miguel - Talofofo
- San Francisco de Asis - Yona
|Sources: 1911: 1950–2012:|
- Catholic Church by country
- Catholic Church in the United States
- Ecclesiastical Province of Agaña
- Global organisation of the Catholic Church
- List of Roman Catholic archdioceses (by country and continent)
- List of Roman Catholic dioceses (alphabetical) (including archdioceses)
- List of Roman Catholic dioceses (structured view) (including archdioceses)
- List of the Catholic dioceses of the United States
- Carano, Paul; Sanchez, Pedro C. (1964). A Complete History of Guam. Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Company. OCLC 414965.
- "Pope names temporary administrator for Guam archdiocese". Pacific Daily News. Retrieved 2016-11-05.
- "Other Pontifical Acts". press.vatican.va. Retrieved 2016-11-05.
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- Michael Biesecker (2019-08-08). "Guam's Catholics reckon with decades of 'horrific' sex abuse". Cruxnow.com. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
- Gilbert, Haidee Eugenio. "Archdiocese sells Yona property for $6.1M to help pay Guam clergy sex abuse survivors". Pacific Daily News. Retrieved Apr 16, 2020.
- Gilbert, Haidee Eugenio. "Lawsuit: Man regrets not exposing priest in late '70s to prevent other kids from sex abuse". Pacific Daily News. Retrieved Apr 16, 2020.
- Gilbert, Haidee Eugenio. "Deadline arrives for Guam's clergy sex abuse complaints filing: 240-plus claims". Pacific Daily News. Retrieved Apr 16, 2020.
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- Gilbert, Haidee Eugenio (October 31, 2019). "No payouts soon: Archdiocese, clergy sex abuse claimants unable to reach settlement". Pacific Daily News. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
- Haidee Eugenio Gilbert, Pacific Daily News (October 29, 2019). "Another try: Church settlement talks begin Wednesday in nearly 280 clergy sex abuse claims". Kitsap Sun. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
- Gilbert, Haidee Eugenio (August 7, 2019). "October mediation looms in church bankruptcy case to settle clergy sex abuse claims". Pacific Daily News. Retrieved Apr 16, 2020.
- Gilbert, Haidee Eugenio (October 26, 2019). "From a culture of silence to cover-ups: How Guam ended up with 280 clergy sex abuse claims". Pacific Daily News. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
- Gilbert, Haidee Eugenio (January 17, 2020). "'Greatest measure of justice': $21M for survivors, other claimants in Archdiocese plan". Pacific Daily News. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
- "Document: Priest abused Barrigada altar boy in late 1970s". Guam Daily Postaa. 30 April 2020.
- "Schools." Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agaña. Retrieved on October 25, 2010.
- "Catholic Schools." Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agaña. March 4, 2001. Retrieved on October 25, 2010.
- "Parishes in the Archdiocese of Agaña". Archdiocese of Agana Official Website. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
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- Cheney, David M. "Agaña (Archdiocese) [Catholic-Hierarchy]". www.catholic-hierarchy.org. Retrieved 2016-01-29.