Pope Francis Accepts the Resignation of Archbishop Michael Byrnes, 64, of the Archdiocese of Agaña, Guam


The Vatican released that the Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Agaña, Guam, presented by H.E. Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes and at the same time appointed the Rev. Romeo Duetao Convocar, currently Vicar General, Apostolic Administrator Sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of the same Archdiocese. Archbishop Byrnes has been on extended medical leave since December 2022. Guam is a U.S. island territory in Micronesia, in the Western Pacific. Population: (2022 est.) 152,600 with about 75-85% being Catholic.

Archbishop Michael Byrnes had been vigilant in preventing abuse in the territory, as noted in this video:

UPDATE March 28, 2023 - Excerpt from the Archdiocese of Guam : 

“First, I thank Archbishop Byrnes for the tremendous courage, faith and obedience he demonstrated seven years ago when he answered the call from the Holy Father to travel many miles away to lead the faithful in a place he knew little about,” Father Romy said tonight.
“It took much dedication and faith in God. We have much sadness about his departure but our prayers continue to be with him as he contends with his life-changing illness.”
Father Romy indicated that in the next few days, he will be able to provide more information on the health of former Archbishop Byrnes who is being taken care of by close friends and associates in his original home of Detroit, Michigan.
"Please continue to pray fervently for our brother and outgoing leader,” said Father Romy.
“I did not seek the position of Apostolic Administrator but I will continue to do my best in this role until the Pope appoints a permanent successor to former Archbishop Byrnes,” said Father Romy.
“In my time as Vicar General, I have been able to help lead the archdiocese because of the assistance and dedication of so many good, strong Catholics; our clergy, religious, Curia members, volunteer council members and the resilient Catholics who continue to practice their faith in our parishes, schools, ministries, homes and families despite very difficult challenges.”

Father Romy said he will communicate further with the Vatican and in the days ahead plans to meet with the clergy, religious and other members of the faith community as well as members of the island media regarding the appointment and the continued challenging work that lies ahead.

--- Sent by Tony C. Diaz, Director of Communication



The former Archbishop Anthony Apuron, 77, was found guilty of abuse by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in March of 2018. He was sentenced in April, 2019. Apuron is still a priest but was removed from his office. (CDF: As was announced on 16 March 2018, the Apostolic Tribunal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith concluded a First Instance canonical penal trial in the case of the Most Reverend Anthony Sablan Apuron, OFMCap. (Agaña, Guam). As was noted at the time, an appeal was possible and was in fact lodged. That appeal has been concluded. On 7 February 2019, the Tribunal of Second Instance upheld the sentence of First Instance finding the Archbishop guilty of delicts against the Sixth Commandment with minors. The penalties are imposed as follows: 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. This decision represents the definitive conclusion in this case.)

The archdiocese of Guam filed for bankruptcy due to sex abuse allegations. The settlements in the abuse lawsuits, are over $115 million.

Biography of Archbishop Byrnes: 

Born: August 23, 1958 (Detroit, Michigan)

Ordained Priest: May 25, 1996
Appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit and Titular Bishop of Eguga: March 22, 2011
Ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit: May 5, 2011
Appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Agana: October 31, 2016
Archbishop of Agana: March 16, 2018, by right of succession
Metropolitan Archbishop of Agana: April 04, 2019
Michael Jude Byrnes was born in 1958 in Detroit to Patrick and Marie Byrnes. He grew up in Detroit, where he attended Edison Elementary School (1963-64), St. Mary of Redford Elementary and Junior High (1965- 72), and Detroit Catholic Central High School (1972-76).
He then attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology in 1979. Until August 1981, he served as a lab assistant in the department of biological chemistry in the University of Michigan Medical School while also serving as a part-time campus minister. Archbishop-designate Byrnes continued as a campus minister through University Christian Outreach, which serves the campuses of the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University, and worked in that capacity until 1985.
Active in the Charismatic Renewal Movement, he served as office manager for the outreach group Servant Ministries in Ann Arbor from 1985 until 1990. He entered formation at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit in 1990, where he later earned a Master of Divinity degree and a Master of Arts degree with a concentration in Scripture.
He was ordained May 25, 1996, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit by then-Archbishop Cardinal Adam Maida. Archbishop Byrnes considers his great-uncle, Fr. Remy McCoy, an order priest of the Missionaries of Africa who served in Ghana, as a major influence on his path to the priesthood. Fr. McCoy passed away in 1990. Archbishop Byrnes began his priestly ministry as associate pastor at St. Joan of Arc parish in St. Clair Shores and as an adjunct faculty member at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He served in those roles until 1999, at which time he departed to Rome to study at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He earned his Doctorate in Sacred Theology in 2003. Returning to Detroit, he joined the faculty of Sacred Heart Major Seminary and served as a weekend assistant at three Detroit parishes: Presentation/Our Lady of Victory, St. Gregory the Great, and Church of the Madonna.
In January 2004 he was named Vice-Rector of Sacred Heart Major Seminary and also pastor of Presentation/Our Lady of Victory, where Deacon Hubert Sanders is the deacon administrator. Additionally, between 2007 and 2009, he served on the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council. After being ordained a bishop on May 5, 2011, archbishop Byrnes assisted Archbishop Vigneron in pastoral oversight of the northeast region of the Archdiocese of Detroit, which includes parts of Macomb, St. Clair and Lapeer counties. In October 2012, Archbishop Byrnes was asked by Archbishop Vigneron to lead key efforts in the Archdiocese of Detroit related to evangelization. These efforts include the Unleash the Gospel New Evangelization initiative and the upcoming Archdiocesan synod.
Archbishop Byrnes’s stepmother, Roberta, lives in Farmington Hills; his mother passed away in 1991 and his father in 2018. He has one brother, three stepsisters, four nieces and two nephews. Among Archbishop Byrnes’s passions is participating in marathons and triathlons. --Courtesy of the Archdiocese of Detroit



Image Source: Facebook Page of the Archdiocese of Guam