HAGATNA, Guam – The new leader of the Catholic Church in Guam will immediately assume all responsibilities in the archdiocese while its suspended archbishop faces a church trial for allegedly sexually abusing altar boys.
Pope Francis on Monday named Bishop Michael Jude Byrnes, the auxiliary bishop of Detroit, as coadjutor bishop of the Guam archdiocese. Coadjutors have succession rights when bishops resign, retire or are removed.
At a news conference Tuesday, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, the temporary apostolic administrator, said Francis gave Byrnes special rights to carry out all the duties as archbishop effective immediately.
Guam had been under an apostolic administrator since June when Archbishop Anthony Apuron, 71, was relieved of his duties after several former altar boys accused him of sexual abuse. He is facing a canonical trial in the Vatican.